The phylogenetic comparative method (PCM) has an important place in evolutionary biology. This chapter aims at giving an overview on some selected topics. We first review briefly some important historical milestones including some early contributions and the relationships of comparative methods with phylogenetics. Some fundamental points on statistical inference, adaptation, and causality are then discussed. We also discuss briefly the application of the PCM to anthropology and conclude with some perspectives on its future development and applications.



I am grateful to László Zsolt Garamszegi for inviting me to write this chapter. Many thanks to two anonymous reviewers for their positive comments.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut de Recherche pour le DéveloppementMontpellierFrance

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