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Tundra Trait Team: A database of plant traits spanning the tundra biome

Journal article
Authors Anne Bjorkman
Isla H. Myers-Smith
Sarah C. Elmendorf
Signe Normand
Haydn J.D. Thomas
Juha M. Alatalo
Heather Alexander
Alba Anadon-Rosell
Sandra Angers-Blondin
Yang Bai
Gaurav Baruah
Mariska te Beest
Logan Berner
Robert G. Björk
Daan Blok
Helge Bruelheide
Agata Buchwal
Allan Buras
Michele Carbognani
Katherine Christie
Laura S. Collier
Elisabeth J. Cooper
J. Hans C. Cornelissen
Katharine J.M. Dickinson
Stefan Dullinger
Bo Elberling
Anu Eskelinen
Bruce C. Forbes
Esther R. Frei
Maitane Iturrate-Garcia
Megan K. Good
Oriol Grau
Peter Green
Michelle Greve
Paul Grogan
Sylvia Haider
Tomáš Hájek
Martin Hallinger
Konsta Happonen
Karen A. Harper
Monique M.P.D. Heijmans
Gregory H.R. Henry
Luise Hermanutz
Rebecca E. Hewitt
Robert D. Hollister
James Hudson
Karl Hülber
Colleen M. Iversen
Francesca Jaroszynska
Borja Jiménez-Alfaro
Jill Johnstone
Rasmus Halfdan Jorgensen
Elina Kaarlejärvi
Rebecca Klady
Jitka Klimešová
Annika Korsten
Sara Kuleza
Aino Kulonen
Laurent J. Lamarque
Trevor Lantz
Amanda Lavalle
Jonas J. Lembrechts
Esther Lévesque
Chelsea J. Little
Miska Luoto
Petr Macek
Michelle C. Mack
Rabia Mathakutha
Anders Michelsen
Ann Milbau
Ulf Molau
John W. Morgan
Martin Alfons Mörsdorf
Jacob Nabe-Nielsen
Sigrid Schøler Nielsen
Josep M. Ninot
Steven F. Oberbauer
Johan Olofsson
Vladimir G. Onipchenko
Alessandro Petraglia
Catherine Pickering
Janet S. Prevéy
Christian Rixen
Sabine B. Rumpf
Gabriela Schaepman‐Strub
Philipp Semenchuk
Rohan Shetti
Nadejda A. Soudzilovskaia
Marko J. Spasojevic
James David Mervyn Speed
Lorna E. Street
Katharine Suding
Ken D. Tape
Marcello Tomaselli
Andrew Trant
Urs A. Treier
Jean‐Pierre Tremblay
Maxime Tremblay
Susanna Venn
Anna‐Maria Virkkala
Tage Vowles
Stef Weijers
Martin Wilmking
Sonja Wipf
Tara Zamin
Published in Global Ecology and Biogeography
Volume 27
Issue 12
Pages 1402-1411
ISSN 1466822X
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 1402-1411
Language en
Keywords alpine, Arctic, plant functional traits, tundra
Subject categories Terrestrial ecology


© 2018 The Authors Global Ecology and Biogeography Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd Motivation: The Tundra Trait Team (TTT) database includes field-based measurements of key traits related to plant form and function at multiple sites across the tundra biome. This dataset can be used to address theoretical questions about plant strategy and trade-offs, trait–environment relationships and environmental filtering, and trait variation across spatial scales, to validate satellite data, and to inform Earth system model parameters. Main types of variable contained: The database contains 91,970 measurements of 18 plant traits. The most frequently measured traits (> 1,000 observations each) include plant height, leaf area, specific leaf area, leaf fresh and dry mass, leaf dry matter content, leaf nitrogen, carbon and phosphorus content, leaf C:N and N:P, seed mass, and stem specific density. Spatial location and grain: Measurements were collected in tundra habitats in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, including Arctic sites in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Fennoscandia and Siberia, alpine sites in the European Alps, Colorado Rockies, Caucasus, Ural Mountains, Pyrenees, Australian Alps, and Central Otago Mountains (New Zealand), and sub-Antarctic Marion Island. More than 99% of observations are georeferenced. Time period and grain: All data were collected between 1964 and 2018. A small number of sites have repeated trait measurements at two or more time periods. Major taxa and level of measurement: Trait measurements were made on 978 terrestrial vascular plant species growing in tundra habitats. Most observations are on individuals (86%), while the remainder represent plot or site means or maximums per species. Software format: csv file and GitHub repository with data cleaning scripts in R; contribution to TRY plant trait database ( to be included in the next version release.

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