© 2004

Phylogenetic Supertrees

Combining information to reveal the Tree of Life

  • Olaf R. P. Bininda-Emonds

Part of the Computational Biology book series (COBO, volume 4)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Olaf R. P. Bininda-Emonds
      Pages 3-14
  3. Reviews of existing methods

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. Bernard R. Baum, Mark A. Ragan
      Pages 17-34
    3. J. Gordon Burleigh, Oliver Eulenstein, David Fernández-Baca, Michael J. Sanderson
      Pages 65-85
    4. François-Joseph Lapointe, Claudine Levasseur
      Pages 87-105
    5. James A. Cotton, Roderic D. M. Page
      Pages 107-125
  4. New supertree methods

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 127-127
    2. David Bryant, Charles Semple, Mike Steel
      Pages 129-150
    3. Philip Daniel, Charles Semple
      Pages 151-171
    4. Raul Piaggio-Talice, J. Gordon Burleigh, Oliver Eulenstein
      Pages 173-191
    5. Fredrik Ronquist, John P. Huelsenbeck, Tom Britton
      Pages 193-224
  5. Methodological considerations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 225-225
    2. Mark Wilkinson, Joseph L. Thorley, Davide Pisani, François-Joseph Lapointe, James O. McInerney
      Pages 227-246
    3. Roderic D. M. Page
      Pages 247-265
    4. Olaf R. P. Bininda-Emonds, Kate E. Jones, Samantha A. Price, Marcel Cardillo, Richard Grenyer, Andy Purvis
      Pages 267-280
    5. Rutger A. Vos, Arne Ø. Mooers
      Pages 281-299
    6. Usman Roshan, Bernard M. E. Moret, Tiffani L. Williams, Tandy Warnow
      Pages 301-328

About this book


This is the first book on "phylogenetic supertrees", a recent, but controversial development for inferring evolutionary trees. Rather than analyze the combined primary character data directly, supertree construction proceeds by combining the tree topologies derived from those data. This difference in strategy has allowed for the exciting possibility of larger, more complete phylogenies than are otherwise currently possible, with the potential to revolutionize evolutionarily-based research. This book provides a comprehensive look at supertrees, ranging from the methods used to build supertrees to the significance of supertrees to bioinformatic and biological research. Reviews of many the major supertree methods are provided and four new techniques, including a Bayesian implementation of supertrees, are described for the first time. The far-reaching impact of supertrees on biological research is highlighted both in general terms and through specific examples from diverse clades such as flowering plants, even-toed ungulates, and primates. The book also critically examines the many outstanding challenges and problem areas for this relatively new field, showing the way for supertree construction in the age of genomics. Interdisciplinary contributions from the majority of the leading authorities on supertree construction in all areas of the bioinformatic community (biology, computer sciences, and mathematics) will ensure that this book is a valuable reference with wide appeal to anyone interested in phylogenetic inference.


Cladistics Phylogenie Ringe Topologie algorithms computer computer science evolution genome

Editors and affiliations

  • Olaf R. P. Bininda-Emonds
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für TierzuchtTechnische Universität MünchenFreising- WeihenstephanGermany

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

"It provides a very worthwhile introduction to a topic that is receiving a lot of attention among phylogeneticists in the new millennium: how to combine the information contained in multiple phylogenetic trees with partially overlapping sets of taxa. … this book achieves what it sets out to achieve, which is to provide an overview and evaluation of possible approaches to the construction of supertrees. … This book does a good job of explaining the arithmetic and the mathematics of supertrees … ." (David A. Morrison, Systematic Biology, Vol. 55 (3), 2006)