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Hybridization events generate reticulate species relationships, giving rise to species networks rather than species trees. We report a comparative study of consensus, maximum parsimony, and maximum likelihood methods of species network reconstruction using gene trees simulated assuming a known species history. We evaluate the role of the divergence time between species involved in a hybridization event, the relative contributions of the hybridizing species, and the error in gene tree estimation. When gene tree discordance is mostly due to hybridization and not due to incomplete lineage sorting (ILS), most of the methods can detect even highly skewed hybridization events between highly divergent species. For recent divergences between hybridizing species, when the influence of ILS is sufficiently high, likelihood methods outperform parsimony and consensus methods, which erroneously identify extra hybridizations. The more sophisticated likelihood methods, however, are affected by gene tree errors to a greater extent than are consensus and parsimony.
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