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The Coral Trait Database, a curated database of trait information for coral species from the global oceans

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Josh Madin
  • Kristen Anderson
  • Magnus Heide Andreasson
  • Tom Bridge
  • Stephen Cairns
  • Sean R. Connolly
  • Emily S. Darling
  • Marcela Diaz
  • Daniel Falster
  • Erik Franklin
  • Ruth Gates
  • Mia O. Hoogenboom
  • Danwei Huang
  • Matthew Kosnik
  • Chao-Yang Kuo
  • Janice Lough
  • Catherine Lovelock
  • Osmar Luiz
  • Julieta Martinelli
  • Toni Mizerek
  • John Pandolfi
  • Xavier Pochon
  • Morgan Stuart Pratchett
  • Hollie Putnam
  • T. Edward Roberts
  • Michael Stat
  • Carden Wallace
  • Elizabeth Widman
  • Andrew H. Baird
Article number160017
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>29/03/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Scientific Data
Number of pages21
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Trait-based approaches advance ecological and evolutionary research because traits provide a strong link to an organism’s function and fitness. Trait-based research might lead to a deeper understanding of the functions of, and services provided by, ecosystems, thereby improving management, which is vital in the current era of rapid environmental change. Coral reef scientists have long collected trait data for corals; however, these are difficult to access and often under-utilized in addressing large-scale questions. We present the Coral Trait Database initiative that aims to bring together physiological, morphological, ecological, phylogenetic and biogeographic trait information into a single repository. The database houses species- and individual-level data from published field and experimental studies alongside contextual data that provide important framing for analyses. In this data descriptor, we release data for 56 traits for 1547 species, and present a collaborative platform on which other trait data are being actively federated. Our overall goal is for the Coral Trait Database to become an open-source, community-led data clearinghouse that accelerates coral reef research.