AusTraits is a transformative database

of the traits of Australia’s 22,000 plant species, standardised from hundreds of disconnected primary sources. 

To make the data from published scientific papers, floras, taxonomic species descriptions, and individual lab archives interoperable, a reproducible workflow has been developed, and is hosted on GitHub. This project will strengthen and extend the database with new data sources and improved standards and description, enhancing data findability, interoperability and reusability. The resource will be released under an open source license (CC-BY 4.0).

Start date 3 June 2019
Expected completion date 21 October 2019
Investment by ARDC $49,999
Lead node
1 New data sets added
New data sources will be identified, standardised and added to AusTraits.
2 Improved interoperability
Data and metadata standards used will be reviewed to improve interoperability and reusability of AusTraits.
3 Improved discoverability and accessibility
Liaise with UNSW Library and Research Technology Services regarding making AusTraits discoverable through multiple channels.
4 AusTraits Data Paper
New data contributions included in AusTraits data paper for submission to Scientific Data.
5 Completion of project
Project outcomes will be presented at the ARDC Data & Services Summit in October 2019.

Core features

Transformative dataset
AusTraits increases our collective understanding of the Australian flora, enabling quantification at new scales of how vegetation responds to environmental change and what types of species grow where and why.
Community-driven
Enabling diverse researchers and institutions to share plant trait data to a sustainable community resource.

Who is this project for?

  • Researchers
  • Natural resource managers
  • Government (state and commonwealth)

What does this project enable?

AusTraits fills a substantial gap in Australian and global biodiversity resources, enabling fundamental and applied questions to be addressed at scale. AusTraits will be a living resource, with a series of releases made over the coming years containing ever-expanded and improved data.

Handy resources

The University of New South WalesVisit
Macquarie UniversityVisit