TRY plant trait database - enhanced coverage and open access

dc.contributor.authorKattge, Jens
dc.contributor.authorBönisch, Gerhard
dc.contributor.authorDíaz, Sandra
dc.contributor.authorLavorel, Sandra
dc.contributor.authorPrentice, Iain Colin
dc.contributor.authorLeadley, Paul
dc.contributor.authorTautenhahn, Susanne
dc.contributor.authorWerner, Gijsbert D. A.
dc.contributor.authorAakala, Tuomas
dc.contributor.authorAbedi, Mehdi
dc.contributor.authorAcosta, Alicia T. R.
dc.contributor.authorAdamidis, George C.
dc.contributor.authorAdamson, Kairi
dc.contributor.authorAiba, Masahiro
dc.contributor.authorAlbert, Cécile H.
dc.contributor.authorAlcántara, Julio M.
dc.contributor.authorAlcázar C, Carolina
dc.contributor.authorAntos, Joseph
dc.contributor.authorThe Nutrient Network
dc.contributor.authoret al.en
dc.description.abstractPlant traits—the morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical and phenological characteristics of plants—determine how plants respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels, and influence ecosystem properties and their benefits and detriments to people. Plant trait data thus represent the basis for a vast area of research spanning from evolutionary biology, community and functional ecology, to biodiversity conservation, ecosystem and landscape management, restoration, biogeography and earth system modelling. Since its foundation in 2007, the TRY database of plant traits has grown continuously. It now provides unprecedented data coverage under an open access data policy and is the main plant trait database used by the research community worldwide. Increasingly, the TRY database also supports new frontiers of trait‐based plant research, including the identification of data gaps and the subsequent mobilization or measurement of new data. To support this development, in this article we evaluate the extent of the trait data compiled in TRY and analyse emerging patterns of data coverage and representativeness. Best species coverage is achieved for categorical traits—almost complete coverage for ‘plant growth form’. However, most traits relevant for ecology and vegetation modelling are characterized by continuous intraspecific variation and trait–environmental relationships. These traits have to be measured on individual plants in their respective environment. Despite unprecedented data coverage, we observe a humbling lack of completeness and representativeness of these continuous traits in many aspects. We, therefore, conclude that reducing data gaps and biases in the TRY database remains a key challenge and requires a coordinated approach to data mobilization and trait measurements. This can only be achieved in collaboration with other initiatives.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipWe would like to thank Stephen Long for the invitation to contribute to the special issue celebrating the 25th anniversary of Global Change Biology and the Executive Editor Rachel Shekar for her extraordinary support and patience handling this manuscript. We also thank the publisher for excellent support. We thank the two anonymous reviewers for valuable suggestions, which helped to substantially improve the manuscript. The TRY database is hosted, developed and maintained at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry (MPI‐BGC) in Jena, Germany, in collaboration with the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle‐Jena‐Leipzig. The TRY database receives additional funding by the Max Planck Society via the Max Planck Fellow Program for Christian Wirth. In addition, the TRY initiative has been supported by the International Programme of Biodiversity Science (DIVERSITAS), the International Geosphere‐Biosphere Programme (IGBP), Future Earth, the French Foundation for Biodiversity Research (FRB), and GIS ‘Climat, Environnement et Société’ France. The TRY initiative is grateful for major support by Linda Maack and the IT Department at the MPI‐BGC. We would like to thank all data contributors to TRY, who are not co‐authors of this paper, that is Pierre Meerts, Jennifer Powers, Nina Koele, Henrik Balslev, John Briggs, Michael White and Robin Chazdon. V.O. thanks RSF (#19‐14‐00038). S.D. thanks CONICET, FONCyT and IAI. Finally, the TRY initiative is very grateful to all the numerous scientists not mentioned here measuring plant traits: without their work the TRY database would not exist.en_US
dc.identifier.citationKattge, J., Bönisch, G., Díaz, S., Lavorel, S., Prentice, I. C., Leadley, P., Tautenhahn, S., Werner, G. D. A., Aakala, T., Abedi, M., & Wirth, C. (2019). TRY plant trait database – enhanced coverage and open access. Global Change Biology, 26(1), 119-188.
dc.publisherGlobal Change Biologyen_US
dc.subjectdata coverageen_US
dc.subjectdata integrationen_US
dc.subjectdata representativenessen_US
dc.subjectfunctional diversityen_US
dc.subjectplant traitsen_US
dc.subjectTRY plant trait databaseen_US
dc.titleTRY plant trait database - enhanced coverage and open accessen_US


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