An Alternative Construction of Internodons: The Emergence of a Multi-level Tree of Life

Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 77 (1):23-45 (2015)
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Internodons are a formalization of Hennig's concept of species. We present an alternative construction of internodons imposing a tree structure on the genealogical network. We prove that the segments (trivial unary trees) from this tree structure are precisely the internodons. We obtain the following spin-offs. First, the generated tree turns out to be an organismal tree of life. Second, this organismal tree is homeomorphic to the phylogenetic Hennigian species tree of life, implying the discovery of a multi-level tree of life: this phylogenetic tree can be obtained by zooming out from the organismal tree, or conversely, the organismal tree of life can be generated by expanding the phylogenetic nodes into unary trees. Finally, the definition of the organismal tree allows an efficient algorithmic transformation of a given genealogical network into its corresponding phylogenetic species tree of life. The latter will be presented in a separate paper.

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Samuel Allen Alexander
Ohio State University (PhD)


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