In sentences like "the results show x, leading researchers to believe..." or "..., indicating that further research must be done" or "..., proving the validity of the theory..." etc
is the -ing form after the comma a reduced form of "which is leading/indicating/proving" or is it a gerund? It seems like it shouldn't be a gerund because the rest of the sentence feels like a complement to some kind of verb phrase, but saying "which is +-ing" sounds so unnatural.
I work at an academic language support service and a student asked me why the -ing form is so prevalent after commas and what the reason is for putting it there.
It feels like those -ing forms are almost adverbial, but I'm not really sure.