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Abstract Detail

The Critical Role of Plant Fossils in Divergence Dating Studies

Hermsen, Elizabeth J. [1], Gandolfo, Maria A, [2].

Paleobotany, divergence dating, and the Fossil Calibration Database.

The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) working group "Synthesizing and Databasing Fossil Calibrations: Divergence Dating and Beyond" is planning to launch a database and companion "Fossil Calibrations Series" of peer-reviewed papers through the online, open-access journal Palaeontologia Electronica. This presentation will provide background on the database project and Fossil Calibration Series, including the criteria for submitting fossil calibration points to the series and database. These criteria are based on a "Best Practices" paper published by Parham et al. in Systematic Biology in 2012 and require authors of fossil calibrations to specify a specific node for which a fossil can be used as a calibration; refer to specific fossil specimen(s) or figures of specimens (if original specimens are not in a repository) on which a calibration is based; provide a phylogenetic tree showing how the fossil is related to other taxa; and provide a minimum age for the fossil. A maximum age for the calibration is recommended, but not required. One important aspect of the database and calibration series will be to require that the hypothesized relationships of the fossil(s) to be used as a calibration be justified based on phylogenetic analysis or apomorphies and that associated minimum and maximum age data also be explicitly explained. A key advantage of the database is that it will provide a place where paleontologists can submit citable papers in a format that is readily usable to those performing divergence dating analyses. It will also provide a forum to foster discussion and collaboration among paleontologists and molecular phylogeneticists.

Broader Impacts:

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Related Links:
Project Description
Working Group Meeting Report
Parham et al. Best Practices paper

1 - Ohio University, Environmental and Plant Biology, Athens, OH, 45701, USA
2 - Cornell University, L. H. BAILEY HORTORIUM, 410 Mann Library Building, ITHACA, NY, 14853-4301, USA, 607/255-3273

divergence dating
molecular dating.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: C5
Location: Belle-Chasse/Riverside Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
Time: 9:30 AM
Number: C5001
Abstract ID:102
Candidate for Awards:None

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