TraitDivNet is an open global network of researchers interested in plant traits launched in March 2022.
The traits of plants (features like their height, the size of their seeds and leaves, or the thickness of their roots) characterize how they respond to environmental conditions, disturbances and interactions with other organisms, and how they affect ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling or food production. Thereby the information about plant traits enable to get an overview about how plants respond and influence ecosystem processes. Still, the practical use of plant traits is hampered by the use of disparate traits between different studies, which are often measured inconsistently, and that mostly characterize aboveground plant parts. Recent research has revealed that belowground traits provide additional information about the functioning of the plant that is not captured by aboveground traits (Carmona et al. 2021). However, very few species have information for both above- and belowground traits (e.g. only ca. 0.1% of the species in the global flora could be included in Carmona et al. 2021), and this lack of information hampers the application of trait-based ecology at large scales.
How to participate:
Contact us: Select a natural or semi-natural habitat where you can sample vascular plants in a 10 m x 10 m plot and contact the Steering Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) to confirm your participation and obtain a plot ID.
In the field:
In the lab:
Download the sampling protocol with a list of materials needed for sampling and the datasheet file here.