DAISIEmainland: an R package for simulating an island-mainland system for macroevolution on islands

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Joshua W. Lambert , Pedro Santos Neves, Rampal S. Etienne, Luis Valente, Richèl Bilderbeek


Speciation and extinction of species are two of the most fundamental processes that are investigated in the field of evolutionary biology. Ideally, one would like to study these processes in replicated isolated systems. Islands come close to this setting if colonisation is rare. However, often we cannot directly measure when an island was colonised, when a colonist species speciated, or when species went extinct. We can, however, use genetic data to reconstruct the evolutionary history of an island community. With this reconstructed data we can fit statistical models to understand macroevolutionary processes on islands. These models make simplifying assumptions in order for the fitting procedure to be tractable. One such assumption, made by, for example, the DAISIE model (from the DAISIE R package (Etienne et al., 2022)), is that mainland species (i.e. the pool of species that can colonise the island) cannot diversify or go extinct. DAISIEmainland is an R package that simulates speciation and extinction on the mainland as well as colonisation and diversification on the island. Providing a more realistic model of the island and the mainland for evolutionary biology research, DAISIEmainland features include: (1) simulating the evolutionary history on island species, (2) visualising that history, (3) calculating and plot summary metrics of the simulated data. The package enables the simulation of phylogenetic datasets from islands under a model more representative of biological systems to test current inference models in island biogeography.




Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences


R, Island biogeography, Macroevolution, Simulation


Published: 2023-08-21 19:14

Last Updated: 2023-08-21 23:14


CC-BY Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International

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