The analysis of diversification and character evolution using phylogenetic data attracts increasing interest from biologists. Recent statistical developments have resulted in a variety of tools for the inference of macroevolutionary processes in a phylogenetic context. In a recent paper Maddison (2006 Evolution, 60: 1743–1746) pointed out that uncareful use of some of these tools could lead to misleading conclusions on diversification or character evolution, and thus to difficulties in distinguishing both phenomena. I here present guidelines for the analyses of macroevolutionary data that may help to avoid these problems. The proper use of recently developed statistical methods may help to untangle diversification and character change, and so will allow us to address important evolutionary questions.
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Vol. 62 • No. 1