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Keywords:

  • age of first flowering;
  • buoyancy;
  • clonal traits;
  • canopy height;
  • dispersal;
  • functional ecology;
  • plant life span;
  • plant functional traits;
  • seed weight;
  • seed number;
  • SLA;
  • soil seed bank

Summary

  • 1
    An international group of scientists has built an open internet data base of life-history traits of the Northwest European flora (the LEDA-Traitbase) that can be used as a data source for fundamental research on plant biodiversity and coexistence, macro-ecological patterns and plant functional responses.
  • 2
    The species-trait matrix comprises referenced information under the control of an editorial board, for ca. 3000 species of the Northwest European flora, combining existing information and additional measurements. The data base currently contains data on 26 plant traits that describe three key features of plant dynamics: persistence, regeneration and dispersal. The LEDA-Traitbase is freely available at http://www.leda-traitbase.org.
  • 3
    We present the structure of the data base and an overview of the trait information available.
  • 4
     Synthesis. The LEDA Traitbase is useful for large-scale analyses of functional responses of communities to environmental change, effects of community trait composition on ecosystem properties and patterns of rarity and invasiveness, as well as linkages between traits as expressions of fundamental trade-offs in plants.