BROT: plant trait database for Mediterranean Basin species



  • Published version (BROT version 2008.11): Corresponds to the original database finalized in November 2008 and published in Ecology 90 (2009). Reference:
  • Paula S, Arianoutsou M, Kazanis D, Tavsanoglu Ç, Lloret F, Buhk C, Ojeda F, Luna B, Moreno JM, Rodrigo A, Espelta JM, Palacio S, Fernández-Santos B, Fernandes PM, and Pausas JG. 2009. Fire-related traits for plant species of the Mediterranean Basin. Ecology 90: 1420.

    · Paper (description & data): [doi] [ESA journals] [Ecological Archives E090-094] [pdf] [citations]
    · Data: [tab-delimited: BROT_2008.11.txt | Source legend] [Erratum]
               [spreadsheet version (OpenOffice): BROT_2008.11.ods]
    · Stats: 8263 records, 952 taxa, 14 traits, 301 sources.


  • Online version: It is an extended (more data and more traits) and updated version of the original one. The format is slightly different. Note that the use of this online version requires to quote both the original (published) and the online version. Reference:
  • Paula S. & Pausas J.G. 2013. BROT: a plant trait database for Mediterranean Basin species. Version 2013.06. URL: http://www.uv.es/jgpausas/brot.htm

    The database includes 3 files (tab-delimited):

    BROT_2013.06_data.txt (Data file)
    BROT_2013.06_species.txt (Species file, with full names and growth form)
    BROT_2013.06_sources.txt (Sources file)
    Or a single spreadsheet file (Open/LibreOffice): BROT_2013.06.ods

    Stats: 10577 records, 950 taxa, 23 traits, 348 sources.


  • Other versions: The BROT database has been incorporated in the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). We are very happy with this because it implies that the information we compiled is now more widely available and thus has higher impact on the community. However, note that we are not responsible of the conversion to the EOL format.





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    BROT trait database - Help to the Online version

    Files

    Data file: column description


    Column name Brief definition
    ID Unique identifier
    Family Taxonomic family of species, following the APG II (APG 2003)
    Genus
    Species
    InfraName Subspecies or varieties.
    - See complete list of all taxa, with authorities, in the Species file (BROT_YYYY.MM_species.txt) -
    Trait Name of the traits considered (traits list and definition described below). In the current online version Life Form is now included in the Species list file; in the first (published) version it is included in the Data file.
    Data The actual data, corresponding to the life history trait. Units and categories for each trait are described below.
    DataType Type of data (categorical, semi-quantitative, quantitative, range) as defined below.
    Method Measure, experience, compilation, general reference (defined below)
    SourceCode Code for the source (published or unpublished references) from which the data have been obtained. See the complete list in the Source file (BROT_YYYY.MM_sources.txt).
    Region Region of the Mediterranean Basin where the observation/experiment has been performed. Codes described below.
    Redundancy Code indicating possible redundancy (see below)
    Comments Additional comments (free format)


    Species file: column description


    Column name Brief definition
    Name Full taxa name (species, subspecies, variety), with authorities
    Family APG II Family
    GrowthForm Growth form (see definitions below)


    Taxonomic criteria used in BROT:
    - European Science Foundation - European Documentation System (ESFEDS 1996) [most taxa]
    - Greuter et al. (1984-1989) [for Cistaceae, Dipsaceae, Pinaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Echium, Thymus and Coridothymus]
    - Pankhurst et al. (2007) [for Rosaceae]
    - Grovaert and Frodin (1998) [for Fagales (Fagaceae, Betulaceae)]
    - Talavera et al. (1999) [Genisteae]

    ESFEDS (1996), Greuter et al. (1984-1989), Pankhurst et al. (2007) and Grovaert and Frodin (1998) are available in the Global Plant Checklist (GPC) of the International Organization for Plant Information (IOPI). Talavera et al. (1999) is available in the Flora Iberica web page. Synonyms can also be consulted in these web pages.


    Sources file: column description


    Column name Brief definition
    SourceCode Unique identifier
    FullRef Full reference


    Traits: units and categories

    The traits and the corresponding attributes and units are defined as follows (trait code in brackets):

    Life Form (GrowthForm): morphology of the whole plant, which is related to its size. This is the only trait that it is included in the species file, and not in the data file. The categories considered are:

    - Tree: very tall woody plant, frequently with one main primary stem and the canopy rarely reaching the ground.
    - Large shrub: large shrub or small tree. Tall woody plant that under optimal conditions may reach arborescence structure.
    - Shrub: woody plant (typically less than 1.5 m tall), frequently multi-stemmed and/or the canopy reaching the ground.
    - Liana: woody (or slightly ligneous at the base) climber.
    - Scrub: dwarf woody plant (typically less than 50 cm in height).
    - Perennial forb: perennial broad-leaved herbaceous plant.
    - Perennial graminoid: perennial grass-like plant.
    - Annual forb: annual broad-leaved herbaceous.
    - Annual graminoid: annual grass-like plant.
    - Variable forb: annual, biennial or short-perennial forb.
    - Variable graminoid: annual, biennial or short-perennial graminoid.
    - Geophyte: herb that persists during the unfavourable period as bulb, rhizome or other subterranean storage organ.

    Average Height (Height): maximum height (m), excluding extremes and reproductive shoots.

    95% Rooting Depth (RootDepth): average depth (m) above which 95% of root biomass is located.

    Shoot:Root Ratio (SRR): shoot to root dry weight ratio in saplings (until 3 years old), excluding those from plantations, or alternatively one of the following categories:

    - Low: < 1.5
    - High: >= 1.5

    Leaf Phenology (LeafPhenology): phenology categories (only for woody species) defined by the time and season during which the plant maintains green leaves (or phyllodes):

    - Evergreen: plant maintaining green leaves during all year.
    - Winter deciduous: plant that drop all its leaves during the winter.
    - Winter semi-deciduous: plant that drop part of its leaves during the winter, maintaining some brownish leaves in the crown.
    - Drought semi-deciduous: plant that drop part of its leaves during the dry period (excluding species that exceptionally drop leaves in very dry periods).

    Basic Leaf Shape (LeafShape): shape of leaves, phyllodes or leaflets for divided leaves. Categories considered are:

    - None: without leaves or any functional analogue organ.
    - Broad.
    - Needle-like.
    - Linear.
    - Scale-like.
    - Spines.
    - Succulent: fleshy or swollen leaf of any shape.

    Average Leaf Size (LeafSize): average one-sided projected surface area (mm2) of an individual leaf (or phyllode) and for divided leaves, leaflets area per leaflets number. Alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - Very small: small needle-like, scame-like and linear leaves (typically less than 25 mm2).
    - Small: large linear leaves or small broad leaves (typically 25-225 mm2).
    - Medium: moderate broad leaves or divided leaves with moderate leaflets (typically 225-2025 mm2).
    - Large: large broad leaves or divided leaves with numerous and large broad leaflets (typically 2025-4550 mm2).
    - Very large: very large broad leaves, usually divided (typically more than 4550 mm2).

    Resprouting Ability after Fire (RespFire): resprouting ability one year after being ca. 100% scorched or burned by fire. For quantitative information, it represents the average proportion of adult plants that resprout (%). For qualitative information, the following categories are used:

    - No: with no resprouting ability.
    - Low: resprouting capacity only after low fire severity; in general, low resprouting vigour and/or high mortality.
    - High: resprouting capacity at low and high fire severity; in general, high resprouting vigour and/or nil or low mortality.
    - Yes: with some resprouting capacity (non-quantified).
    - Variable: high variability observed between populations or sampled areas.

    Resprouting Ability after Clipping (RespClip): resprouting ability one year after being ca. 100% clipped. For quantitative information, it represents the average proportion of adult plants that resprout (%). For qualitative information, the following categories are used:

    - No: with no resprouting ability.
    - Low: few and/or weak sprouts.
    - High: abundant and/or vigorous sprouts.
    - Yes: with some resprouting capacity (non-quantified).
    - Variable: high variability observed between populations or sampled areas.

    Resprouting Ability after Disturbance (RespDist): resprouting ability after an undefined disturbance that remove most of the aboveground biomass. See RespClip for units and categories.

    Bud Source (BudSource): location of bud bank for resprouting. Categories considered are:

    - Epicormic buds: stem buds (protected by the bark).
    - Apex: apex on stems protected from fire by leaf bases.
    - Root crown: transition point between main stem and root.
    - Lignotuber: ontogenetically programmed (i.e., inherited character) woody swelling at or below ground level. Based on embryological and/or anatomical features.
    - Burl: non-ontogenetically programmed (e.g. stem coalescence) woody swelling at or below ground level.
    - Lignotuber or burl: woody swelling at or below ground level with unspecified origin (no distinction between lignotuber and burl is reported).
    - Rhizomes: non-swollen horizontal stem growing near the soil surface and including below-ground (rhizome sensu stricto) and aboveground (stolons) stems.
    - Roots.
    - Rhizomes or roots: rhizomes, roots or both (specific bud source is unknown).
    - Storage organs: non-woody storage organs, normally modified stems as bulbs, corms or tubers.
    - Others: other bud sources, including those not clearly specified (e.g., stump).

    Heat-Stimulated Germination (HeatStimGerm): the most intense heat treatment (i.e., seed exposition to dry heat >= 50ºC), of those tested, that significantly increases seed germination versus the control. For studies where differences were not statistically tested, the criteria in Paula & Pausas (2008) is used. Three heat intensities are considered: Low (L: <100ºC for <= 5min), Moderate (M: <100ºC for > 5min or >= 100ºC for <= 5min), High (H: >= 100ºC for >5min) or unknown (unk). The heat intensities tested in each experiment are indicated after the slash (/LMH), with an underscore when the corresponding heat intensity is not tested (e.g., M not tested: /L_H). Note that in many studies, post-treatment seed viability is not considered or not specified in the original reference, and thus it can lead to misinterpretation of treatment effects. Categories and corresponding notation as follows:

    - yes/unk: stimulated germination is produced after exposure to heat of unspecified intensity.
    - high/###: stimulated germination after exposure to High intensity when ### treatments were applied (### refers to L, M and H respectively).
    - moderate/###: the highest heat intensity that stimulates germination is Moderate after testing for ### (### refers to L, M and H respectively).
    - low/###: the highest heat intensity that stimulates germination is Low after testing for ### (### refers to L, M and H respectively).
    - unaffected/###: germination is not stimulated after any heat intensity tested and at least one of the treatments does not affect seed germination (### refers to L, M and H respectively; unk, if unknown).
    - inhibition/###: inhibited germination (i.e., significantly lower germination than in the control) in all heat treatments tested (### refers to L, M and H respectively; unk, if unknown).

    Other Cues (OtherCues): germinative response after exposure to boiling water (blw), smoke (smk), ash (ash), charcoal (cha) or nitrogenous compounds: KNO3 (NC1), NaNO2 (NC2), NH4Cl (NC3), NH4HOC3 (NC4), NH4NO3 (NC5). The fire cue tested is indicated in the abbreviated form (three characters) after the slash (/ #). Thus, the categories and corresponding notation are as follows:

    - Stimulation/#: germination of the treated seeds is significatively higher than the control (# refers to the treatment codes indicated above).
    - Unaffected/#: germination of treated seeds equals the control (# refers to the treatment codes indicated above).
    - Inhibition/#: germination of the treated seeds is significatively lower than the control (# refers to the treatment codes indicated above).
    For studies where difference were not statistically tested, the criteria in Paula & Pausas (2008) is used.

    Average Seed Bank Longevity (SeedBankLong): period during which seeds remain viable in the (soil or canopy) seed bank as inferred from: vegetation and soil seed bank comparison (veg), experimental seed burial (bur), age of serotinous cones (ser), seed dormancy (dor) or unknown methods (unk). The method used is indicated after the slash (/ #). When this trait is inferred from the presence of the species in the vegetation and in the soil seed bank (veg), the following key is used (based on Thompson et al. 1997):

    Plants in the vegetation Seeds in the soil Maximum depth SeedBankLong
    Absent Present Any persistent / veg
    Present Present 0-2 transient / veg
    Present Present 2-5 persistent / veg
    Present Present >5 long-term / veg

    The categories and notation are as follows:
    - transient/#: seeds germinate in the first favourable season after dispersal. Generally, seed bank longevity is <= 1 yr (no persistent seed bank).
    - persistent/#: seeds do not germinate in the first favourable season after dispersal. Generally seed bank longevity is > 1 yr (could be longer but it is unknown).
    - short-persistent/#: > 1 and <= 5 yr.
    - at least short-persistent/#: longevity > 1 and at least <= 5 yr (could be longer but it is unknown).
    - mid-persistent/#: at least > 5 yr (could be longer but it is unknown).
    - long-persistent/#: at least > 15 yr.
    - very long-persistent/#: at least >= 30 yr.

    Seed Bank (SeedBank): location of persistent seed bank (longevity > 1 yr). Categories are:

    - Soil: soil persistent seed bank.
    - Canopy: canopy persistent seed bank (serotiny).

    Post-fire Seedling Emergence (SeedlEmerg): average seedling density per pre-fire mature individuals emerging during the first year after fire (seedlings/mature), or alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - No: no post-fire seedling emergence.
    - Low: number of seedling lower than the number of pre-fire mature individuals.
    - High: number of seedlings higher than the number of pre-fire mature individuals.
    - Yes: seedling emergence (quantitative data not available).
    - Variable: high variability observed between populations or sampled areas.

    Post-fire Seedling Survival (SeedlSurv): proportion of seedlings surviving first dry season after fire (%), or alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - No: no post-fire seedling survival
    - Low: survival < 25%
    - High: survival >= 25%

    Age at Maturity of Resprouts (MatResp): average age of resprouts at first successful reproduction (in years), i.e., when most of the resprouting plants produce the first seed crop, or alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - Early: <5 yr
    - Medium: 5-10 yr
    - Late: >10 yr

    Age at Maturity of Saplings (MatSap): average age of saplings at the first successful reproduction (in years), i.e., when most of the saplings produce the first seed crop (excluding saplings from plantations), or alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - Early: <5 yr
    - Medium: 5-10 yr
    - Late: >10 yr

    Seed Mass (SeedMass): average dry weight of seeds (including some single-fruited seeds such as achenes or caryopsis) in mg, or alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - Very light: < 3 mg
    - Light: >= 3 and < 30 mg
    - Medium: >= 30 and <300 mg
    - Heavy: > 300 mg

    Fruit Type (FruitType): fruit classification (including single or aggregated fruits) according to their consistence:

    - Fleshy: at least one fruit tissue is succulent at maturity (berries)
    - Dry: any fruit tissue is succulent at maturity.

    Propagule (Propagule): dispersal unit for sexual regeneration:

    - Seed: including some single-fruited seeds such as achenes or caryopsis.
    - Fruit: single or aggregated fruit.

    Dispersal Mode (DispMode): main dispersal vector (if several, the most frequent or the vector that move farther away the seeds). The categories considered are:

    - Autochory: by gravity, without the assistance of any dispersal vector(= unassisted dispersal).
    - Anemochory: by wind (with wind dispersal adaptations, such pappus or wings).
    - Hydrochory: by water.
    - Ballistichory: dehiscence of fruit occurs as an explosion, launching seeds far away from the plant (= ballochory).
    - Myrmecochory: by ants.
    - Endozoochory: internal animal transport.
    - Epizoochory: external animal transport (= exozoochory).
    - Hoarding: scatter and hoarding propagules by animals (others than ants).
    - Zoochory: dispersal mediated by animals (unknown transport system)


    Types of data

    Because the database includes different types of data, even at the trait level, the column "DataType" defines the type of data as follows:

    - Quantitative: a number (integer or floating).
    - Semi-quantitative: ordered qualitative variable (e.g., low, medium, high).
    - Range: two quantitative values, indicating the range observed .
    - Categorical: non-ordered qualitative variable.

    The above types may also, in turn, be conditional (quantitative conditional, semi-quantitative conditional, etc.) and indicate that the data entry has the value and a condition. Here are two examples:

    . HeatStimGerm = “low/L_H”: germination stimulated by low heat intensities in an experiment where only Low and High heat intensities were tested (as defined in the Data definition, IV.B.2, above). That is, it is unknown whether it would be stimulated by a moderate heat intensity treatment; it was not stimulated by a high heat shock.
    . OtherCues = “Stimulation/smk”: germination stimulated by smoke treatments (i.e., germination after smoke treatment was significantly higher than the germination in control conditions).

    Method

    The column "Methods" describes the general methods of gathering the information, and it is related to the accuracy of the data. It has the four following possible values:

    - Measure: published or unpublished data obtained from an experimental design in which the data is, at least, one of the objectives of the study.
    - Experience: published or unpublished data from visual (rough) estimation or personal experience.
    - Compilation: published data compiled from different sources (including experience, published data, ...)
    - General reference: data published and obtained from a general publication such as a Flora.

    Code for the sources

    A unique identifier code that refers to the data source (SourceCode). Complete references are listed in the source file (BROT_YYYY.MM_sources.txt). Note that the references include published articles, grey literature and personal communications; in the latter, the e-mail of the data provider and a brief description of the study area are also included.

    Region

    The column "Region" refers to the region of the Mediterranean Basin where the observation or experiment was performed or from where the seeds were collected. Five regions are considered, three in Mediterranean Europe, one in Mediterranean Asia and another in Mediterranean Africa:

    W – North West: Iberian Peninsula, south of France and Balearic Islands
    C – North-Central: Italian Peninsula and surrounding islands (Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica)
    E – North East: from Trieste to Istanbul, that is, Croatia, Albania, Former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia, Greece, and surrounding islands.
    M – Mediterranean Middle East (Asia): From Istanbul to the Sinai Peninsula. That is, Anatolian Peninsula, western Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel and Cyprus.
    S – Southern rim of the Mediterranean sea (North Africa), that is, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
    U – Unknown, or unclear in the original source, or from more than two of the above regions.

    Redundancy

    This column indicates rows that are strongly related (indicated with the same code in this column); these are references for a given species in which there is a high chance that the information in one of the references was obtained from another. These cases are very difficult to identify, but are indicated when suspected, as it may help in understanding and processing the data.

    Comments

    For some data, a brief comment may be included in the column "Comments". These comments or clarifications may be provided by the author (f.a.), that is, they are indicated in the reference, or by the data compiler (f.c.).

    Acknowledgements

    The elaboration of this database has been financed by the following projects: EUFireLab (European Comission, EVR1- 2001-00054), PERSIST (Spanish Government, CGL2006-07126/BOS), and CIRCE (European Comission, IP 036961).

    References

  • APG (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group) 2003. An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG II. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 141:399–436.
  • European Science Foundation - European Documentation System. 1996. ESFEDS database. On-line searchable version available through the Global Plant Checklist of the International Organization for Plant Information (IOPI 1996-2007). [web]
  • Govaerts, R., and D. G. Frodin. 1998. World checklist and Bibliograophy of Fagales. On-line searchable version available through the Global Plant Checklist of the International Organization for Plant Information (IOPI 1996-2007). [web]
  • Greuter, W., H. M. Burdet, and G. Long, editors. 1984–1989. Med-Checklist. A critical inventory of vascular plants of the circum-mediterranean countries. Vol. 1-4. On-line searchable version available through the Global Plant Checklist of the International Organization for Plant Information (IOPI 1996-2007). [web]
  • Pankhurst, R. 2007. Rosaceae family database. On-line searchable version available through the Global Plant Checklist of the International Organization for Plant Information (IOPI 1996-2007). [web]
  • Paula, S., and J. G. Pausas. 2008. Burning seeds: germinative response to heat treatments in relation to resprouting ability. Journal of Ecology 96:543–552. [pdf] [doi] [blackwell]
  • Thompson, K., J. Bakker, and R. Bekker. 1997. The soil seed bank of North West Europe: methodology, density and longevity, First edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
  • Talavera, S., C. Aedo, S. Castroviejo, C. Romero Zarco, L. Sáez, F. J. Salgueiro, and M. Velayos, editors. 1999. Leguminosae (partim). Flora iberica. Plantas vasculares de la Península Ibérica e Islas Baleares, First edition. Vol. VII (1), pp 578. Real Jardín Botánico - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain. [web]