Romeiras, M.M., Pena, A.R., Menezes, T., Vasconcelos, R., Monteiro, F., Paulo, O.S. & Moura, M. (2019) Shortcomings of phylogenetic studies on recent radiated insular groups: a meta-analysis using Cabo Verde biodiversity.International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20(11), 2782. DOI:10.3390/ijms20112782 (IF2019 4,183; Q2 Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)
Over the previous decades, numerous studies focused on how oceanic islands have contributed to determine the phylogenetic relationships and times of origin and diversification of different endemic lineages. The Macaronesian Islands (i.e., Azores, Madeira, Selvagens, Canaries, and Cabo Verde), harbour biotas with exceptionally high levels of endemism. Within the region, the vascular plants and reptiles constitute two of the most important radiations. In this study we compare relevant published phylogenetic data and diversification rates retrieved within Cabo Verde endemic lineages and discuss the importance of choosing appropriate phylogeny-based methods to investigate diversification dynamics on islands. From this selective literature-based review, we summarize the software packages used in Macaronesian studies and discuss their adequacy considering the published data to obtain well-supported phylogenies in the target groups. We further debate the importance of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), to investigate the evolutionary processes of diversification in the Macaronesian Islands. Analysis of genomic data provides phylogenetic resolution for rapidly evolving species radiations, suggesting a great potential to improve the phylogenetic signal and divergence time estimates in insular lineages. The most important Macaronesian reptile radiations provide good case-studies to compare classical phylogenetic methods with new tools, such as phylogenomics, revealing a high value for research on this hotspot area.