Publication Date: 2011.
1. Plant traits are fundamental for understanding and predicting vegetation responses to global changes, and they provide a promising basis towards a more quantitative and predictive approach to ecology. As a consequence, information on plant traits is rapidly accumulating, and there is a growing need for efficient database tools that enable the assembly and synthesis of trait data. 2. Plant traits are highly heterogeneous, exhibit a low degree of standardization and are linked and interdependent at various levels of biological organization: tissue, organ, plant and population. Therefore, they often require ancillary data for interpretation, including descriptors of the biotic and abiotic environment, methods and taxonomic relationships. 3. We introduce a generic database structure that is tailored to accommodate plant trait complexity and is consistent with current theoretical approaches to characterize the structure of observational data. The over-arching utility of the proposed database structure is illustrated based on two independent plant trait database projects. 4. The generic database structure proposed here is meant to serve as a flexible blueprint for future plant trait databases, improving data discovery, and ensuring compatibility among them.
Author affiliation: Kattge, Jens. Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry; Alemania
Author affiliation: Ogle, Kiona. University of Wyoming. Department of Botany; Estados Unidos
Author affiliation: Bönisch, Gerhard. Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry; Alemania
Author affiliation: Diaz, Sandra Myrna. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Córdoba. Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal. Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas Físicas y Naturales. Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal; Argentina
Author affiliation: Lavorel, Sandra. Université Joseph Fourier. Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine; Francia
Author affiliation: Madin, Joshua. Macquarie University. Department of Biological Sciences; Australia
Author affiliation: Nadrowski, Karin. University of Leipzig. Department of Special Botany and Functional Biodiversity Research; Alemania
Author affiliation: Noellert, Stephanie. Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry; Alemania
Author affiliation: Sartor, Karla. Harvard University. Biological Laboratories, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology; Estados Unidos
Author affiliation: Wirth, Christian. Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry; Alemania. University of Leipzig. Department of Special Botany and Functional Biodiversity Research; Alemania
Repository: CONICET Digital (CONICET). Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas