A national database on the traits of Australia’s complete flora.
A creek in Western Australia
Project lead
University of New South Wales (UNSW)
Who will benefit
Researchers, research organisations, government agencies


January 2021 to June 2023

Current Phase

In progress

ARDC Co-investment


The Challenge

AusTraits is an emerging national data asset quantifying the traits of Australia’s flora, which comprises approximately 26,000 different plant species.

It collects functional and structural traits (such as leaf size, potential photosynthetic rate, maximum height, floral colour, floral symmetry) as well as capturing differences among species in their ecology, function, and evolution. These traits are crucial for advancing core research and applied outcomes in plant science.

The challenge for AusTraits is to broaden coverage of the resource and improve the quality of the data, while making it more accessible.

The Response

A new version of AusTraits will: 

Who Will Benefit

Researchers, research organisations and government agencies will benefit from: 

  • improved access and discoverability with AusTraits available as an open access resource via existing biodiversity platforms
  • comprehensive national coverage of functional and structural traits across Australia’s flora in a unified data asset.

The Partners

Our partners are:

  • UNSW
  • Macquarie University
  • Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust
  • Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Western Sydney University
  • EcoCommons
  • Landcare Research New Zealand
  • University of New England
  • Murdoch University
  • University of Arizona
  • Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment: Australian Biological Resources Study
  • Parks Australia
  • Atlas of Living Australia
  • Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research
  • NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
  • Western Australia Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
  • Greening Australia.

Target Outcomes

AusTraits will transform our ability to understand and manage Australian vegetation. It will provide tangible impacts beyond academic research by freeing up ecological data which can be used to create stronger conservation management, business investment and societal engagement with the environment.

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