Canadian Forest Service Publications
TRY plant trait database – enhanced coverage and open access. 2020. Kattge, J. et al. Global Change Biology 26(1): 119-188.
Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 40101
Availability: PDF (download)
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Plain Language Summary
This paper describes the development, history and functioning of the TRY database. Founded in 2007, this global database incorporates data collected on plants and their associated traits. Plant traits are characteristics of plants that determine how they respond to their environment, affect other organisms and ecosystem functioning. TRY has grown continuously over the years and now provides unprecedented data coverage. As of March 2019, the database contains 11.8 million trait records provided by 387 contributors and has been requested nearly 7000 times. The database is the main plant trait database used by the research community working on subjects ranging from community ecology, conservation, management and earth system modelling. Yet, large data gaps remain; the amount of data available for a given species remains low for many, especially for root traits, which affects the ability to assess variation within species and the relationship between trait values and environmental characteristics. To reduce such gaps, coordinated efforts between collaborating researchers and initiatives are required to increase the number of trait measurements and improve data availability. The work to develop and maintain such an initiative required dedicated, long-term support and resources that extend far beyond current funding cycles available from national funding agencies.