BROT: plant trait database for Mediterranean Basin species



  • BROT 2.0 (= version 2018, current):
  • Tavsanoglu Ç. & Pausas J.G. 2018. A functional trait database for Mediterranean Basin plants. Scientific Data 5:180135.

    ˇ Paper (description): [doi | sdata | pdf]
    ˇ Data: figshare
    ˇ Stats: 24764 records, 2457 taxa, 44 traits, 624 sources.


  • BROT 1.0 (= version 2009, old):
  • 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. [doi | ESA journals | Ecological Archives E090-094 | pdf | citations]
    ˇ Stats: 8263 records, 952 taxa, 14 traits, 301 sources.



  • Other versions: BROT 1.0 was incorporated in the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) and in TRY. We are not responsible of the conversion to these formats.


  • How to cite BROT: Paula et al. (2009), Tavsanoglu & Pausas (2018)



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    BROT 2.0 Help

    Tavsanoglu & Pausas (2018)

    Traits: units and categories

    1 Life Form (GrowthForm, F). Morphology of the whole plant related with its size (for non-disturbed individuals). Categories are:

    - tree: very tall woody plant, frequently with one main, primary stem and the green 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 plants (typically less than 1.5 m), frequently with several shoots growing from the soil level and/or the green canopy reaching the ground.
    - liana: woody (or slightly ligneous at the base) climber.
    - subshrub: dwarf woody plant or chamaephytes (typically less than 50 cm), including suffruticose (suffrutescent) plants.
    - perennial forb: perennial broad-leaved herbaceous plant.
    - perennial graminoid: perennial grass-like plant.
    - annual forb: annual broad-leaved herbaceous plant.
    - annual graminoid: annual grass-like plant.
    - variable forb: annual, biennial or short-perennial forb.
    - variable graminoid: annual, biennial or short-perennial grass.
    - geophyte: herbs that persist during the unfavorable period as bulbs, rhizomes or other subterranean storage organs.
    - epiphyte: plants growing on other plants for physical support.

    2 Leaf division degree (LeafDivision, F). Division degree of leaves (or phyllodes). For species with different stem and basal leaves, it refers to stem leaves. The categories are:

    - simple: simple leaves.
    - compound: compound or divided leaves.

    3 Average leaf lifespan (LeafLifespan, V). Average time period (months) during which an individual leaf (or phyllodes) of a woody species is alive and physiologically active40 (= leaf longevity). For woody species only.

    4 Leaf phenology (LeafPhenology, F). Phenology of leaves (or phyllodes). For woody species only. The categories are:

    - evergreen: plant that maintains green leaves all year.
    - winter deciduous: plant that drops all its leaves during the winter.
    - winter semi-deciduous: plant that drops part of its leaves during the winter, maintaining some brownish leaves in the crown.
    - drought semi-deciduous: plant that drops part of its leaves during the dry period (excluding species that drop leaves only in very extreme droughts).

    5 Basic leaf shape (LeafShape, F). Shape of leaves, phyllodes or leaflets for compound leaves. For species with different stem and basal leaves, it refers to stem leaves. The categories are:

    - none: without leaves or any functional analogue organ. If leaves are modified as spines, then LeafShape=spines (see below).
    - broad: plant with broad leaves (for compound leaves, this refers to leaflets).
    - needle-like: plant with needle-like leaves.
    - linear: plant with linear leaves (for compound leaves, this refers to leaflets).
    - scale-like: plant with scale-like leaves.
    - spines: leaves are modified as spines (which is different from having spines or thorns in the branches).
    - succulent: plant with succulent (water-stored, thick and fleshy) leaves.

    6 Average leaf area (LeafArea, V). Average one-sided projected surface area (mm2) of an individual leaf (or phyllodes)40. For compound leaves, leaflets area × leaflets number. For species with different stem and basal leaves, it refers to stem leaves. Alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - very small: small needle-like, scale-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).

    7 Mass-based leaf nitrogen content (LNCm, V). Leaf nitrogen content (mass-based) (mg g-1), that is, the ratio of the quantity of nitrogen in the leaf per respective unit dry mass40,41.

    8 Average specific leaf area (SLA, V). Average one-sided area of the fresh leaf (or phyllodes) divided by its oven-dry mass40,42, excluding petiole and/or rachis; for mature plants only. Units are mm2 mg-1 (note that mm2 mg-1 × 10 = cm2 g-1).

    9 Average bark thickness (BarkThick, V). Average bark thickness (mm) of the main stem at breast height for trees; if available, it should include the diameter (cm) at the height that the bark was measured (as quantitative conditional, i.e., BT|Diam,). For woody plants only. Note that in many cases both BT and Diam are mean values of a population (not for an individual tree). Alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - thin: <= 2 mm.
    - moderate: 2-15 mm.
    - thick: > 15 mm.

    10 Average height (Height, V). Maximum height (m), excluding extremes and reproductive shoots.

    11 Stem specific density (StemDensity, V). Oven-dry mass divided by the fresh volume of a section of the main stem40 (excluding bark for woody species; i.e., wood density) (g cm-3).

    12 Coarse:fine fuel (CFFuel, V). Coarse to fine fuel biomass ratio (i.e., >= 6 mm diameter and < 6 mm diameter, respectively), including live and dead material. Alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - low: without coarse fuel; all fuel is fine.
    - moderate: abundant fine fuel and low coarse fuel.
    - high: abundant fine fuel and abundant coarse fuel.
    - very high: scarce fine fuel and abundant coarse fuel.

    13 Dead fine fuel (DealFuel, V). Standing fine (< 6 mm diameter) dead biomass (including twigs, leaves, inflorescences, bark) attached to the plant during the dry season expressed in proportion of the aboveground biomass (for non-senescent individuals) (%). Alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - low: <= 5 % - medium: 5-20 % - high: >=20 %

    14 Leaf dry matter content (LDMC, V). Dry matter content of leaves (mg g-1), that is, the ratio of the dry mass of a leaf to its water saturated fresh mass40,41.

    15 Clonality (Clonality, V). Ability to colonize the space through vegetative reproduction. Categories considered are:

    - rhizomes: non-swollen belowground horizontal stem that grows near the soil surface with the ability to produce roots and stems. Rhizomes s.l., i.e., including woody and non-woody rhizomes.
    - roots: roots normally growing close to the soil surface.
    - rhizomes or roots: rhizomes and/or roots (not differentiated).
    - storage organs: non-woody storage organs, normally modified stems (bulbs, corms or stem tubers) or roots (root tubers).
    - stolons: aboveground horizontal stems.
    - yes: clonal plant with unknown system.
    - no: without clonality ability.

    16 Integrated water-use efficiency (d13C, V). Delta 13C (∆13C) isotope ratio [Pérez-Harguindeguy et al. 2016].

    17 Lifespan (Lifespan, V). Average maximum age (=longevity) for perennials (year). Alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - very short: <= 2 yr
    - short: 2-5 yr
    - medium: 5-25 yr
    - long: 25-150 yr
    - very long: > 150 yr

    18 Nutritional relationships (NutritionalRelat, V). Long-term relationship with other species that are implicated in nutrient and/or energy uptake. Categories are:

    - ectomycorrhizal symbiosis: plant with a mutualistic relationship with ectomycorrhizal fungi.
    - endomycorrhizal symbiosis: plants with a mutualistic relationship with endomycorrhizal fungi.
    - nodule bacteria symbiosis: plant with a mutualistic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
    - hemiparasite: photosynthetic plant (hemiparasite) that parasitize another photosynthetic plant (host).
    - parasite: non-photosynthetic plant that parasitize either a photosynthetic plant (i.e. holoparasites) or a fungus (i.e., myco-heterotrophous).
    - carnivorous: plant acquiring nutrients by capturing animals or protozoa.
    - others: plants with other types of nutritional relationships, including a combination of several types of symbiosis (e.g. endo- and ectomycorrhizas).
    - no: plant without obvious nutritional relationships.

    19 Resistance to xylem cavitation (P50, V). Xylem resistance to drought-induced cavitation (in MPa) [Pausas et al. 2016].

    20 Maximum rooting depth (RootDepth, V). Maximum depth of the roots (m).

    21 Spinescence (Spinescence, F). Presence/absence of spines, thorns, prickles and/or spiny leaves in vegetative organs. The categories are:

    - yes - no

    22 Shoot:root ratio (SRR, V). Shoot to root dry mass ratio in saplings (<=3 years old), excluding those from plantations. Alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - low: < 1.5 - high: >= 1.5

    23 Dispersal mode (DispMode, F). The vector(s) used for dispersal (of seeds or any other dispersal unit for sexual reproduction). One or several types, e.g.: GW means that both Gravity and Wind are important); if several, typically the first is the most important. Notation for the different dispersal vectors are:

    - G: autochory, by Gravity (= unassisted dispersal).
    - W: anemochory, by Wind (with wind dispersal adaptations).
    - H: Hydrochory, by water.
    - B: Ballistichory, by launching (= ballochory).
    - M: Myrmecochory, by ants.
    - N: eNdozoochory, internal animal transport.
    - P: ePizoochory, external animal transport (= exozoochory).
    - O: hOarding, scatter and hoarding diaspores by animals (others than ants).
    - Z: Zoochory, dispersal mediated by animals (unknown transport system).

    24 Diaspore (Diaspore, F). Dispersal unit for sexual reproduction. The categories are:

    - seed: including some single-seeded fruits such as achenes or caryopsis.
    - fruit: single or aggregated fruit.
    - spore

    25 Fruit dry mass (FruitMass, V). Average dry mass (mg) of single or aggregated fruits (excluding some single-seeded fruits such as achenes or caryopsis, that are typically considered as "seeds"). Alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - very light: < 3 mg - light: 3-30 mg - medium: 30-300 mg - heavy: 300-3000 mg - very heavy: > 3000 mg

    26 Fruit type (FruitType, F). Type of the fruit. Including single or aggregated fruits (dispersal unit). Categories are:

    - dry: dry fruit.
    - fleshy: fleshy fruit, including fruit in which the fleshy part is the floral cup (hypanthium) (e.g. Rosa).

    27 Seed dry mass (SeedMass, V). Average dry mass of seeds (including some single-seeded fruits such as achenes or caryopsis) (mg). Alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - very light: < 3 mg
    - light: >= 3 and < 30 mg
    - medium: >= 30 and < 300 mg
    - heavy: >= 300 mg

    28 Annual seed production (SeedProd, V). Average number of seeds per plant produced every year (# seeds). Alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - rarely: rarely, if ever, produces seeds in the study area.
    - few: <= 50 seeds.
    - medium: 50-500 seeds.
    - many: > 500 seeds.

    29 Basic seed shape (SeedShape, V). Ratio between the two maximum diameters: first maximum divided by the second maximum, excluding structures attached to the seed coat as wings or pappus. Alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - regular: close to 1 (spherical or lens-shaped seeds).
    - irregular: far to 1 (elongated seeds).

    30 Bud source (BudSource, V). Location of the bud bank for resprouting species44. The categories are:

    - epicormic buds: stem buds (protected by the bark).
    - apex: buds in the stem apex protected from fire by leaf bases.
    - root crown: transition point between stem and root.
    - lignotuber: woody swelling below or just above the soil, ontogenetically programmed (i.e., inherited character). Based on embryological and/or anatomical features.
    - thickened root-crown: woody swelling below or just above the soil non-ontogenetically programmed (e.g. stem coalescence). Thickened root crown.
    - burl: woody swelling below or just above the soil with the unspecified origin (no distinction between lignotuber and burl is reported).
    - rhizomes: belowground horizontal stem (non-swollen).
    - woody rhizomes: woody belowground horizontal stem.
    - non-woody rhizomes: non-woody belowground horizontal stem - roots - rhizomes or roots: rhizomes and/or roots (unspecified).
    - storage organs: non-woody storage organs, i.e., modified stems (bulbs, corms or stem tubers) or roots (root tubers).
    - others: other bud sources, including those not clearly specified (e.g. stump).

    31 Fire-stimulated flowering (FireStimFlower, V). Fire-stimulated flowering in post-fire resprouters. The categories are:

    - no: lower or similar flowering post-fire than in unburned vegetation.
    - yes: higher flowering post-fire than in unburned vegetation (includes facultative and obligate post-fire flowering); these are mostly geophytes.

    32 Resprouting capacity after clipping (RespClip, V). Resprouting capacity one year after clipping 100% of the plant as average proportion of adult plants that resprout (percentage). Not reported for annual plants (which can be assumed to be RespClip=no). Alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - no: without resprouting capacity.
    - low: few individuals resprouting and/or weak resprouts.
    - high: most individuals resprouting and/or vigorous resprouts.
    - yes: with resprouting capacity (not quantified).
    - variable: very high variability observed in the sampling area.

    33 Resprouting capacity after disturbances (RespDist, V). Resprouting capacity after undefined disturbances (average proportion of adult plants that resprout as percentage). Not reported for annual plants (which can be assumed to be RespDist=no). Alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - no: without resprouting capacity.
    - low: few individuals resprouting and/or weak sprouts.
    - high: most individuals resprouting and/or vigorous sprouts.
    - yes: with resprouting capacity (not quantified).
    - variable: very high variability observed in the sampling area.

    34 Resprouting capacity after fire (RespFire, V). Resprouting capacity after one year when most of the plant has been scorched (average proportion of adult plants that resprout as percentage). Not reported for annual plants (which can be assumed to be RespFire=no). Alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - no: without resprouting capacity.
    - low: few individuals resprouting and/or weak sprouts.
    - high: most individuals resprouting and/or vigorous sprouts.
    - yes: with resprouting capacity (not quantified).
    - variable: very high variability observed in the sampling area.

    35 Chemical germination cues (ChemCues, V). Germinative response to smoke (smk), ash (ash), charcoal (cha), nitrogenous compounds like KNO3 (NC1), NaNO2 (NC2), NH4Cl (NC3), NH4HOC3 (NC4), NH4NO3 (NC5), or response to karrikins (KAR), cyanohydrins (CYN, including several cyanides, mandelonitrile, and glyceronitrile). The response in indicated before the vertical bar, and the chemical cue tested, after the vertical bar (e.g. stimulation|smk). The categories are:

    - stimulation|###: germination of the treated seeds higher than the control.
    - unaffected|###: germination of treated seeds equal than the control.
    - inhibition|###: germination of the treated seeds lower than the control.

    36 Heat-stimulated germination (HeatStimGerm, V). The highest intensity in heat treatments (i.e., seed exposition to dry heat >= 50°C) that produce higher germination than the control (i.e., stimulated germination). Heat intensity defined as: Low (L: < 100°C during <=5 min.), Moderate (M: < 100°C during >5 min. or >= 100°C during <= 5 min.), High (H: >= 100°C during > 5 min.) or unknown (unk). Note that in many cases, post-treatment seed viability is not considered or not specified. The heat intensities tested for each experiment are indicated after the vertical bar (category|LMH), with an underscore when the corresponding heat intensity is not tested (e.g., category|L_H). The categories are:

    - yes|unk: stimulated germination is produced after unspecified heat intensity exposition.
    - high|###: stimulated germination after exposition to High-intensity treatments (### refers to L, M and H respectively).
    - moderate|###: the highest heat intensity that produces stimulated germination is Moderate (### refers to L, M and H respectively).
    - low|###: the highest heat intensity that produces stimulated germination is Low (### 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., lower germination than control) in all heat treatments tested (### refers to L, M and H respectively; unk if unknown).

    37 Other germination cues (OtherCues, V). Germination response to exposition to boiling water (blw), mechanical scarification (mec), summer temperature (tsu), temperature fluctuation (tfu), light (lgt). The response is indicated before the bar and the cue tested is indicated after the vertical bar (category|cue, e.g., stimulation|blw). Categories are:

    - stimulation|###: germination of the treated seeds higher than the control.
    - unaffected|###: germination of treated seeds equal to the control.
    - inhibition|###: germination of the treated seeds lower than the control.

    38 Canopy seed bank longevity (CanopySeedBank, V). Presence and longevity of the stored seeds in the canopy. The categories are:

    - yes: seeds stored in the canopy is present (no information on longevity). - no: no stored seeds in the canopy.
    - short: 2 or 3 years
    - mid: 4 - 10 yr
    - long: >10 yr

    39 Serotiny level (SerotinyLevel, V). Average proportion of serotinous (closed) cones in the canopy (%) [Hernández-Serrano et al. 2013].

    40 Soil seed bank longevity (SoilSeedBank, V). Period that seeds remain viable in the soil seed bank inferred from: soil and vegetation comparisons (veg), experimental seed burial (bur), seed dormancy (dor) or unknown methods (unk). The method used is indicated after the vertical bar (response|method, e.g., persistent|veg). The categories are:

    - transient|###: no soil seed bank; seeds germinate in the first favorable season after dispersal. Normally seed bank longevity <= 1 yr (no persistent seed bank).
    - persistent|###: seeds do not germinate in the first favorable season after dispersal. Normally seed bank longevity > 1 yr (could be longer but it is unknown).
    - short-persistent|###: > 1 and <= 5 yr
    - at least short-persistent|###: at least > 1 and <= 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|###: >= 30 yr

    41 Age at maturity of resprouts (MatResp, V). Average age of resprouts at the first successful reproduction (yr), i.e. when most of the resprouted plants produce the first seed crop. Alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - early: < 5 yr
    - medium: 5-10 yr
    - late: > 10 yr

    42 Age at maturity of saplings (MatSap, V). Average age of saplings at the first successful reproduction (yr), i.e. when most of the saplings produce the first seed crop, excluding saplings from plantations. Alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - early: < 5 yr
    - medium: 5-10 yr
    - late: > 10 yr

    43 Post-fire seedling emergence (SeedlEmerg, V). Average density of seedlings per pre-fire mature individuals emerged during the first year after fire. This is a ratio (number of seedlings / number of mature plants), or alternatively, one of the following categories:

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

    44 Post-fire seedling survival (SeedlSurv, V). Proportion of seedlings surviving the first dry season after fire (%). Alternatively, one of the following categories:

    - no: no post-fire seedlings survival.
    - low: survival < 25% - high: survival >= 25%