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Author
dc.contributor.author
Podani, János 
Availability Date
dc.date.accessioned
2020-01-29T14:35:13Z
Availability Date
dc.date.available
2020-01-29T14:35:13Z
Release
dc.date.issued
2019
Issn
dc.identifier.issn
1934-2845
uri
dc.identifier.uri
http://hdl.handle.net/10831/46308
Abstract
dc.description.abstract
The Tree of Life (ToL) has been of central importance in the biological sciences, usually understood as a model or a metaphor, and portrayed in various graphical forms to summarize the history of life as a single diagram. If it is seen as a mathematical construct—a rooted graph theoretical tree or, as more recently viewed, a directed network [Network of Life (NoL)]—then its proper visualization is not feasible, for both epistemological and technical reasons. As an overview included in this study demonstrates, published ToLs and NoLs are extremely diverse in appearance and content, and they suffer from inevitable bias towards particular groups, or are restricted to a single major taxon. Metaphorical trees are even less useful for the purpose, because ramification is the only property of botanical trees that may be interpreted in an evolutionary or phylogenetic context. This paper argues that corals, as suggested by Darwin in his early notebooks, are superior to trees as metaphors, and may also be used as mathematical models. A coral diagram is useful for portraying past and present life because it is suitable: (1) to illustrate bifurcations and anastomoses, (2) to depict species richness of taxa proportionately, (3) to show chronology, extinct taxa and major evolutionary innovations, (4) to express taxonomic continuity, (5) to expand particulars due to its self-similarity, and (6) to accommodate a genealogy-based, rank-free classification. This paper is supplemented with a figure, The Coral of Life (CoL), which is, to the author’s knowledge, the first attempt to combine all of the above features in a single diagram for the entirety of life, thus serving as a prototype for further analysis and improvement. The discussion is partly historical: references to classical and modern writings help the reader to understand how biological thinking and methods of visualization have evolved to reach this achievement.
Language
dc.language
Angol
Contact information
dc.relation.ispartof
urn:issn:1934-2845
Title
dc.title
The Coral of Life
Type
dc.type
folyóiratcikk
Date Change
dc.date.updated
2020-01-28T14:36:40Z
Scope
dc.format.page
123-144
Doi ID
dc.identifier.doi
10.1007/s11692-019-09474-w
Wos ID
dc.identifier.wos
000468100600001
MTMT ID
dc.identifier.mtmt
30659194
Issue Number
dc.identifier.issue
2
abbreviated journal
dc.identifier.jabbrev
EVOL BIOL
Journal
dc.identifier.jtitle
EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY
Volume Number
dc.identifier.volume
46
Release Date
dc.description.issuedate
2019
department of Author
dc.contributor.institution
Ökológiai és Botanikai Intézet
department of Author
dc.contributor.institution
Növényrendszertani, Ökológiai és Elméleti Biológiai Tanszék
department of Author
dc.contributor.institution
Növényrendszertani és Ökológiai Tanszék
department of Author
dc.contributor.institution
GINOP Fenntartható Ökoszisztémák Csoport
department of Author
dc.contributor.institution
MTA-ELTE-MTM Ökológiai Kutatócsoport
Author institution
dc.contributor.department
Növényrendszertani, Ökológiai és Elméleti Biológiai Tanszék
Author institution
dc.contributor.department
GINOP Fenntartható Ökoszisztémák Csoport


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