A national database of Australian plant traits that synthesises data on 500 traits across 30,000 plant taxa
The AusTraits team with plants behind
The AusTraits team. Image: Renee Nowytarger / ARDC
Who will benefit
Researchers, research organisations, government agencies

The Challenge

AusTraits is a national data asset quantifying the traits of Australia’s flora. It collects functional and structural traits (such as leaf size, potential photosynthetic rate, maximum height, floral colour, and 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 was to broaden coverage of the resource and improve the quality of the data, while making it more accessible.

The Response

The new version AusTraits has: 

  • broadened coverage of the resource by connecting with new datasets and research communities
  • improved data access using existing biodiversity platforms, including Atlas of Living Australia and EcoCommons.

The Outcomes

Access AusTraits, now a national database of Australian plant traits that synthesises data on 500 traits across 30,000 plant taxa.

This project has also delivered a:

All these resources and more can be accessed via the AusTraits website.

AusTraits has transformed our ability to understand and manage Australian vegetation. It provides 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.

Who Will Benefit

Researchers, research organisations and government agencies can 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

  • UNSW
  • Western Sydney University
  • Macquarie University
  • Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust
  • Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research
  • The University of Melbourne
  • EcoCommons
  • Atlas of Living Australia
  • 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
  • Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research
  • NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
  • Western Australia Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
  • Greening Australia

Further Resources

Contact the ARDC

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