Yesterday I received the following question by email:

*“I submitted a paper for publication using your phylogenetic RMA code
[ phyl.RMA(x, y, tree, method="lambda")] and received a reviewer
comment that they would like me to test whether my λ values are
significantly different from zero or not. I am no R guru and have scoured
the internet R forums looking for help on this topic to no avail. Do you have
suggestions how to modify the code to test if λ is significantly
different from 0 or not?”*

This turns out to be quite straightforward now. There is no
`logLik`

S3 method for the `"phyl.RMA"`

object class;
however the likelihood is printed & it is straightforward to pull it out.
The following example illustrates how we can go about doing this.

```
library(phytools)
```

Here's our data & tree:

```
tree
```

```
##
## Phylogenetic tree with 30 tips and 29 internal nodes.
##
## Tip labels:
## t20, t21, t18, t19, t22, t23, ...
##
## Rooted; includes branch lengths.
```

```
x
```

```
## t20 t21 t18 t19 t22 t23
## 1.74081803 0.33676433 -2.50478160 0.89857946 1.76875257 3.08699370
## t11 t6 t3 t14 t15 t12
## 0.15106911 0.66324229 -3.41883563 -0.04319447 1.68108703 0.64884875
## t4 t13 t27 t28 t10 t16
## -0.44859035 4.86755607 5.47266102 4.87278387 1.89486242 0.77032544
## t17 t7 t8 t2 t1 t29
## -1.28424131 0.35679219 0.54643104 1.66794272 0.67532856 0.69751983
## t30 t26 t9 t5 t24 t25
## 2.47659363 1.85573177 0.99397157 1.88833299 -3.51120262 0.00644626
```

```
y
```

```
## t20 t21 t18 t19 t22 t23
## -1.4604984 -1.1234784 -1.8955693 -1.1046771 0.5031821 0.7232508
## t11 t6 t3 t14 t15 t12
## -1.3182090 0.7771434 -5.0391041 -0.7060600 0.1528692 -2.3452736
## t4 t13 t27 t28 t10 t16
## -0.4259814 5.0943036 4.5370231 3.8153191 2.4929304 1.4140231
## t17 t7 t8 t2 t1 t29
## -0.2126191 -1.3148316 0.1247963 1.7954273 1.6049011 -0.5283464
## t30 t26 t9 t5 t24 t25
## 0.6998745 0.8378205 0.7286870 1.0226437 -3.5451315 0.4713685
```

Now let's fit our phylogenetic RMA:

```
## ML value of lambda
fit.ml<-phyl.RMA(x,y,tree,method="lambda")
plot(fit.ml)
```

```
fit.ml
```

```
##
## Coefficients:
## (Intercept) x
## -0.5950063 0.9436907
##
## VCV matrix:
## x y
## x 1.606109 1.267578
## y 1.267578 1.430324
##
## Model for the covariance structure of the error is "lambda"
##
## Estimates (or set values):
## lambda log(L)
## 0.6244482 -104.6795675
##
## Hypothesis test based on Clarke (1980; Biometrika):
## r2 T df P
## 0.699423 0.559378 22.745176 0.581371
##
## Note that the null hypothesis test is h0 = 1
```

```
## fixed lambda=0
fit.lambda0<-phyl.RMA(x,y,tree,method="lambda",
lambda=0,fixed=TRUE)
plot(fit.lambda0)
```

```
fit.lambda0
```

```
##
## Coefficients:
## (Intercept) x
## -0.8051448 1.0389307
##
## VCV matrix:
## x y
## x 1.300902 1.157591
## y 1.157591 1.404163
##
## Model for the covariance structure of the error is "lambda"
##
## Estimates (or set values):
## lambda log(L)
## 0.0000 -109.1883
##
## Hypothesis test based on Clarke (1980; Biometrika):
## r2 T df P
## 0.733581 0.391534 22.485945 0.699089
##
## Note that the null hypothesis test is h0 = 1
```

We can see that the ML(λ) model has a higher log-likelihood (it must have an equal or better likelihood since λ=0 is a special case); however this comparison does not tell us which model to prefer.

One option for picking the *better* model is through the use of
a likelihood-ratio test. This is conducted as follows:

```
LR<-2*(fit.ml$logL-fit.lambda0$logL)
P.chisq<-pchisq(LR,df=1,lower.tail=FALSE)
P.chisq
```

```
## [1] 0.002674072
```

This suggests that our more parameter-rich model fits significantly better than our simpler λ=0 model.

We can also similarly compare our ML(λ) model to a simpler Brownian model (equivalent to fixing λ=1).

```
fit.BM<-phyl.RMA(x,y,tree)
fit.BM
```

```
##
## Coefficients:
## (Intercept) x
## -0.5049189 0.8606773
##
## VCV matrix:
## x y
## x 7.754927 5.955602
## y 5.955602 5.744582
##
## Model for the covariance structure of the error is "BM"
##
## Estimates (or set values):
## lambda log(L)
## 1.0000 -117.5431
##
## Hypothesis test based on Clarke (1980; Biometrika):
## r2 T df P
## 0.796187 1.758561 22.027273 0.092539
##
## Note that the null hypothesis test is h0 = 1
```

```
LR.bm<-2*(fit.ml$logL-fit.BM$logL)
P.bm<-pchisq(LR.bm,df=1,lower.tail=FALSE)
P.bm
```

```
## [1] 3.932632e-07
```

This shows that even though our ML value of λ is closer to 1 than 0, the former is much more strongly rejected than the latter. This can be seen even more clearly if we plot our likelihood surface for λ:

```
lambda<-seq(0,1,by=0.01)
logL<-sapply(lambda,function(l,x,y,tree) phyl.RMA(x,y,tree,method="lambda",
lambda=l,fixed=TRUE)$logL,x=x,y=y,tree=tree)
plot(lambda,logL,type="l",ylab="log(L)",xlab=expression(lambda))
abline(v=fit.ml$lambda,lty="dashed",col="grey",lwd=2)
```

That's it.

BTW, the data & tree for this example were simulated as follows:

```
library(phytools)
tree<-pbtree(n=30)
xy<-fastBM(phytools:::lambdaTree(tree,0.6))
x<-xy+fastBM(phytools:::lambdaTree(tree,0.6),sig2=0.4)
y<-xy+fastBM(phytools:::lambdaTree(tree,0.6),sig2=0.4)
```