Abstract Comparative methods are used to investigate the attributes of present species or higher taxa. Difficulties arise from the phylogenetic heritage: taxa are not independent and neglecting phylogenetic inertia can lead to inaccurate results. Within-species variations in life-history traits are also not negligible, but most comparative methods are not designed to take them into account. Taxa are generally described by a single value for each trait. We have developed a new model which permits the incorporation of both the phylogenetic relationships among populations and within-species variations. This is an extension of classical autoregressive models. This family of models was used to study the effect of fishing on six demographic traits measured on 77 populations of teleost fishes.