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Dataset Open Access

AusTraits: a curated plant trait database for the Australian flora

Falster, Daniel; Gallagher, Rachael; Wenk, Elizabeth

Data collector(s)
Adams, Mark A; Ahrens, Collin W.; Alfonzetti, Matthew; Amini, Sophia; Angevin, Tara; Apgaua, Deborah M.G.; Arndt, Stefan; Ash, Julian; Atkin, Owen K.; Atkinson, Joe; Auld, Tony; Baker, Andrew; Balthazar, Maria von; Bean, Anthony; Blackman, Chris J.; Bloomfield, Keith; Boreham, Tara; Bowman, David M. J. S.; Bradstock, Ross; Bragg, Jason; Brand, Willi A.; Briggs, Amber; Brock, John; Brodribb, Timothy J.; Buckton, Genevieve; Burrows, Geoff; Butler, Don; Caldwell, Elizabeth; Camac, James; Carpenter, Raymond; Catford, Jane A.; Cawthray, Gregory R.; Cernusak, Lucas A.; Chandler, Gregory; Chapman, Alex R.; Cheal, David; Cheesman, Alexander W.; Chen, Si-Chong; Chinnock, Robert; Choat, Brendan; Clarke, Peter; Clayton, Derek; Clemants, Steven; Clifford, Harold Trevor; Clinton, Brook; Clode, Peta L.; Cochrane, Michelle; Coleman, Helen; Collins, Bronwyn; Conti, Alessandro; Cooper, Wendy; Cooper, William; Cornwell, William K.; Cosgrove, Meredith; Cowie, Ian; Craven, Lyn; Crisp, Michael; Cross, Erika; Crous, Kristine Y.; Cunningham, Saul; Curran, Timothy; Curtis, Ellen; Davidson, Ian; Daws, Matthew I.; de Salas, Miguel; de Tombeur, Félix; DeGabriel, Jane L.; Denton, Matthew D.; Dong, Ning; Du, Pengzhen; Duan, Honglang; Duncan, David H.; Duncan, Richard P.; Duretto, Marco; Dwyer, John M.; Eamus, Derek; Edwards, Cheryl; Egan, Judy; Esperon-Rodriguez, Manuel; Evans, John R.; Everingham, Susan E.; Fahey, Chris; Falster, Daniel; Farrell, Claire; Firn, Jennifer; Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Forster, Paul Irwin; Foster, John; French, Ben J.; French, Tony; Frith, Allison; Frood, Doug; Funk, Jennifer L.; Gallagher, Rachael; Gardiner, Ronald; Geange, Sonya R.; Ghannoum, Oula; Gill, Malcolm; Gleason, Sean M.; Goble-Garratt, Ethel; Gosper, Carl R.; Gray, Emma; Groom, Philip K.; Grootemaat, Saskia; Gross, Caroline; Grubb, Peter; Guerin, Greg; Guilherme Pereira, Caio; Guinane, Chris; Guja, Lydia; Hahs, Amy K.; Hall, TJ; Hallet, Monique; Harrison, Matthew Tom; Haslehurst, Tammy; Hassiotou, Foteini; Hayes, Patrick E.; Henery, Martin; Herbohn, John; Hochuli, Dieter; Hocking, Peter; Howell, Jocelyn; Hu, Jing; Huang, Guomin; Hughes, Kate; Hughes, Lesley; Huisman, John; Ilic, Jugoslav; Islam, Muhammad; Jagdish, Ashika; Jin, Daniel; Jordan, Gregory; Jurado, Enrique; Kanowski, John; Kasel, Sabine; Kealley, Ian; Keighery, Greg; Kellermann, Jürgen; Kenny, Belinda; Kirkpatrick, James; Knox, Kirsten; Kohout, Michele; Kooyman, Robert M.; Kotowska, Martyna M.; Kovac, Luka; Kreger, Kaely; Kuo, John; Lai, Hao Ran; Laliberté, Etienne; Lambers, Hans; Lambert, Martin; Lamont, Byron B.; Lanceman, Dana; Lanfear, Robert; Laughlin, Daniel C.; Laugier-Kitchener, Bree-Anne; Laurance, Susan; Lawes, Michael; Laws, Claire; Lawson, James; Laxton, Emma; Lehmann, Caroline E. R.; Leigh, Andrea; Leishman, Michelle R.; Lenz, Tanja; Lepschi, Brendan; Lewis, James D.; Lim, Felix; Lindsay, Liz; Liu, Udayangani; Londono, Daniel Montoya; López Martinez, Andrea; Lord, Janice; Ludwig, Christiane; Lunt, Ian; Lusk, Christopher H.; Maconochie, Mary; Macinnis-Ng, Cate; McPherson, Hannah; Magallón, Susana; Manea, Anthony; Marais, Karen; Maslin, Bruce; Mason, Riah; Mayfield, Margaret; Mazanec, Richard; McC Overton, Jacob; McCarthy, James K.; McFarlane, Elissa; Meers, Trevor; Metcalfe, Daniel; Milberg, Per; Mokany, Karel; Moles, Angela T.; Moore, Ben D.; Moore, Nicholas; Morgan, Huw; Morgan, John W.; Morris, William; Muir, Annette; Munroe, Samantha; Myerscough, Peter; Nelson, Des; Neyland, Dominic; Nicholson, Áine; Nicolle, Dean; Nicotra, Adrienne B.; Niinemets, Ülo; North, Tom; O'Reilly-Nugent, Andrew; O'Sullivan, Odhran S.; Oberle, Brad; Olsen, Mike; Onoda, Yusuke; Ooi, Mark K. J.; Orscheg, Corinna; Osborne, Colin P.; Paczkowska, Grazyna; Peeters, Paula; Pekin, Burak; Perry, George; Phillips, Aaron; Pickering, Catherine; Pickup, Melinda; Pollitt, Loren; Pollock, Laura J.; Polmear, Rob; Poot, Pieter; Possingham, Hugh; Powell, Jeff R.; Power, Sally A.; Prentice, Iain Colin; Price, Aina; Prior, Lynda; Prober, Suzanne M.; Pyne, Thomas; Read, Jennifer; Reynolds, Victoria; Rice, Barbara; Richards, Anna E.; Richardson, Ben; Rigg, Jessica L.; Roberts, Bryan; Roderick, Michael L.; Rosell, Julieta A.; Rossetto, Maurizio; Rye, Barbara; Rymer, Paul D.; Salomaa, Anna; Sams, Michael A.; Sanson, Gordon; Sauquet, Hervé; Schmidt, Susanne; Schöenenberger, Jürg; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Schulze, Inge; Schulze, Waltraud; Scott, Andrew John; Sendall, Kerrie; Shapcott, Alison; Shaw, Veronica; Shoo, Luke; Sinclair, Steve; Sjostrom, Anne; Smith, Benjamin; Smith, Renee; Soliveres, Santiago; Soper, Fiona; Sparrow, Ben; Spooner, Amanda; Standish, Rachel J.; Staples, Timothy L.; Stephens, Ruby; Stewart, George; Suda, Jan; Szota, Christopher; Tait, Catherine; Taseski, Guy; Tasker, Elizabeth; Taylor, Daniel; Thomas, Freya; Thompson, Ian; Tissue, David T.; Tjoelker, Mark G.; Tng, David Yue Phin; Toelken, Hellmut R.; Tomlinson, Kyle; Trudgen, Malcolm; Turner, Neil C.; van der Merwe, Marlien; van Langevelde, Frank; Veneklaas, Erik J.; Venn, Susanna; Vesk, Peter; Vlasveld, Carolyn; Vorontsova, Maria S.; Warren, Charles A.; Warwick, Nigel; Weerasinghe, Lasantha K.; Wells, Jessie; Westman, W. E.; Westoby, Mark; White, Matthew; Williams, Erica; Williams, Nicholas S. G.; Williams, R. J.; Willis, Kathryn; Wills, Jarrah; Wilson, J. Barstow; Wilson, Peter G.; Wright, Ian J.; Yates, Colin; Yen, Jian; Zanne, Amy E.; Zemunik, Graham; Ziemińska, Kasia
Project member(s)
Sauquet, Hervé; Wright, Ian J.; Indiarto, Dony; Andrew, Sam; Baxter, Caitlan; Lawson, James; Allen, Stuart; Fuchs, Anne; Monro, Anna; Kar, Fonti

INTRODUCTION

AusTraits is a transformative database, containing measurements on the traits of Australia’s plant taxa, standardised from hundreds of disconnected primary sources. So far, data have been assembled from > 250 distinct sources, describing > 400 plant traits and > 26,000 taxa.

To handle the harmonising of diverse data sources, we use a reproducible workflow to implement the various changes required for each source to reformat it suitable for incorporation in AusTraits. Such changes include restructuring datasets, renaming variables, changing variable units, changing taxon names. While this repository contains the harmonised data, the raw data and code used to build the resource are also available on the project’s GitHub repository, http://traitecoevo.github.io/austraits.build/.

Further information on the project is available in the associated publication and at the project website austraits.org.

Falster, Gallagher et al (2021) AusTraits, a curated plant trait database for the Australian flora. Scientific Data 8: 254, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-021-01006-6

CONTRIBUTORS

The project is jointly led by Dr Daniel Falster (UNSW Sydney), Dr Rachael Gallagher (Western Sydney University), Dr Elizabeth Wenk (UNSW Sydney), and Dr Hervé Sauquet (Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Sydney), with input from > 300 contributors from over > 100 institutions (see full list above). The project was initiated by Dr Rachael Gallagher and Prof Ian Wright while at Macquarie University.

We are grateful to the following institutions for contributing data Australian National Botanic Garden, Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network, Kew Botanic Gardens, National Herbarium of NSW, Northern Territory Herbarium, Queensland Herbarium, Western Australian Herbarium, South Australian Herbarium, State Herbarium of South Australia, Tasmanian Herbarium, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria.

AusTraits has been supported by investment from the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), via their “Transformative data collections” (https://doi.org/10.47486/TD044) and “Data Partnerships” (https://doi.org/10.47486/DP720) programs; fellowship grants from Australian Research Council to Falster (FT160100113), Gallagher (DE170100208) and Wright (FT100100910), a grant from Macquarie University to Gallagher. The ARDC is enabled by National Collaborative Research Investment Strategy (NCRIS).

ACCESSING AND USE OF DATA

The compiled AusTraits database is released under an open source licence (CC-BY), enabling re-use by the community.

A requirement of use is that users cite the AusTraits resource paper, which includes all contributors as co-authors:

Falster, Gallagher et al (2021) AusTraits, a curated plant trait database for the Australian flora. Scientific Data 8: 254, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-021-01006-6

In addition, we encourage users you to cite the original data sources, wherever possible.

Note that under the license data may be redistributed, provided the attribution is maintained.

The downloads below provide the data in two formats:

  • austraits-3.0.2.zip: data in plain text format (.csv, .bib, .yml files). Suitable for anyone, including those using Python.
  • austraits-3.0.2.rds: data as compressed R object. Suitable for users of R (see below).

Both objects contain all the data and relevant meta-data.

AUSTRAITS R PACKAGE

For R users, access and manipulation of data is assisted with the austraits R package. The package can both download data and provides examples and functions for running queries.

STRUCTURE OF AUSTRAITS

The compiled AusTraits database has the following main components:

austraits
├── traits
├── sites
├── contexts
├── methods
├── excluded_data
├── taxanomic_updates
├── taxa
├── definitions
├── contributors
├── sources
└── build_info

These elements include all the data and contextual information submitted with each contributed datasets.

A schema and definitions for the database are given in the file/component definitions, available within the download. The file dictionary.html provides the same information in textual format. Full details on each of these components and columns are contained within the definition. Similar information is available at http://traitecoevo.github.io/austraits.build/articles/Trait_definitions.html and http://traitecoevo.github.io/austraits.build/articles/austraits_database_structure.html.

CONTRIBUTING

We envision AusTraits as an on-going collaborative community resource that:

  1. Increases our collective understanding the Australian flora; and
  2. Facilitates accumulation and sharing of trait data;
  3. Builds a sense of community among contributors and users; and
  4. Aspires to fully transparent and reproducible research of the highest standard.

As a community resource, we are very keen for people to contribute. Assembly of the database is managed on GitHub at traitecoevo/austraits.build. Here are some of the ways you can contribute:

Reporting Errors: If you notice a possible error in AusTraits, please post an issue on GitHub.

Refining documentation: We welcome additions and edits that make using the existing data or adding new data easier for the community.

Contributing new data: We gladly accept new data contributions to AusTraits. See full instructions on how to contribute at http://traitecoevo.github.io/austraits.build/articles/contributing_data.html.

The AusTraits project received investment (https://doi.org/10.47486/TD044, https:// doi.org/10.47486/DP720) from the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC). The ARDC is funded by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).
Files (28.8 MB)
Name Size
austraits-3.0.2.rds
md5:cd7ba1c395b976a02fd4c3c772d88d78
12.3 MB Download
austraits-3.0.2.zip
md5:ed44176eb71466fe9a4ca1773d6b5961
14.7 MB Download
dictionary.html
md5:7047ae5b30b1727140000a4daa484722
1.7 MB Download
NEWS.md
md5:483881222a0c9635ba01b3f0d802730f
37.8 kB Download
readme.txt
md5:eaee76500f89c73dc515f233a9f6053d
9.9 kB Download
  • Falster, Gallagher et al (2021) *AusTraits, a curated plant trait database for the Australian flora*. Scientific Data 8: 254, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-021-01006-6

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