phylocomr-package: Phylocom interface

Description Details A note about files Package API Author(s)


phylocomr gives you access to Phylocom, specifically the Phylocom C library (, licensed under BSD 2-clause (


This package isn't doing system calls to a separately installed Phylocom instance - but actually includes Phylocom itself in the package.

Phylocom is usually used either on the command line or through the R package picante, which has duplicated some of the Phylocom functionality.

In terms of performance, some functionality will be faster here than in picante, but the maintainers of picante have re-written some Phylocom functionality in C/C++, so performance should be similar in those cases.

A note about files

As a convienence you can pass ages, sample and trait data.frame's, and phylogenies as strings, to phylocomr functions. However, phylocomr has to write these data.frame's/strings to disk (your computer's file system) to be able to run the Phylocom code on them. Internally, phylocomr is writing to a temporary file to run Phylocom code, and then the file is removed.

In addition, you can pass in files instead of data.frame's/strings. These are not themselves used. Instead, we read and write those files to temporary files. We do this for two reasons. First, Phylocom expects the files its using to be in the same directory, so if we control the file paths that becomes easier. Second, Phylocom is case sensitive, so we simply standardize all taxon names by lower casing all of them. We do this case manipulation on the temporary files so that your original data files are not modified.

Package API


Scott Chamberlain

Jeroen Ooms

phylocomr documentation built on Dec. 20, 2019, 5:07 p.m.