Cladistic analysis of Meandrinidae and Oculinidae (Anthozoa: Scleractinia) with comments on not applicable characters

Publication Year:
2011
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Repository URL:
https://ir.uiowa.edu/etd/1136; https://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2520&context=etd
Author(s):
Fadiga, Troy Robert
Publisher(s):
University of Iowa
Tags:
cladistics; composite coding; Meandrinidae; NACTL; not applicable; Oculinidae; Geology
thesis / dissertation description
A morphological phylogenetic analysis of the coral families Oculinidae and Meandrinidae suggest multiple transitions between colonial and solitary forms. Many morphological characters are logically dependent on a taxon being colonial. The treatment of not applicable characters has remained unresolved, with traditional treatments of not applicable characters having well known flaws. A new method for treating not applicable characters, the Not Applicable Corrected Tree Length (NACTL) method, is presented. The NACTL method retrieves a different phylogenetic signal than traditional approaches, but is more consistent with molecular phylogenetic analyses.