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A full overview of all literature used to document marine species traits can be found through the Literature module of this portal.

Links with existing initiatives

Several initiatives already compile attibute information. to avoid duplication of work, a collaboration was sought with these initiatives, allowing to also show their available traits information through the Traits Portal.
  • BIOTIC: The Biological Traits Information Catalogue
    The BIOTIC database contains information on over 40 biological trait categories on selected benthic species, together with additional supporting information, including a bibliography of literature from which the information was obtained. The emphasis is on benthic invertebrates and plants.
  • Polytraits: A database on biological traits of polychaetes
    The Polytraits database contains 47 different traits describing the morphological, behavioural, reproductive and larval features as well as the environmental affinities of polychaetes. All trait information in the database is collected from literature.
  • FishBase
    FishBase is a global species database of fish species and the largest and most extensively accessed online database on adult finfish on the web. It provides comprehensive species data, including information on taxonomy, geographical distribution, biometrics and morphology, behaviour and habitats, ecology and population dynamics as well as reproductive, metabolic and genetic data. There is access to tools such as trophic pyramids, identification keys, biogeographical modelling and fishery statistics.
  • HAB:IOC-UNESCO Taxonomic Reference List of Harmful Micro Algae
    The HAB-list has the following aims: (1) to provide a catalogue of the world's harmful micro algal species; (2) to promote stability in harmful micro algal nomenclature (3) to act as a tool for higher taxonomic revisions and regional monographs and (4) to provide a base link for other online databases that use harmful micro algal nomenclature.
  • WRIMS: World Register of Introduced Marine Species
    The World Register of Introduced Marine Species (WRIMS) records which marine species in the World Register of Marine species (WoRMS) have been introduced deliberately or accidentally by human activities to geographic areas outside their native range.
  • WoRDSS: World Register of Deep Sea Species
    The primary goal of WoRDSS is to build a comprehensive database of known deep-sea species. A secondary goal is to accumulate high quality specimen images of deep-sea species and to present these on both the website and the iOS app that allows offline-viewing of the complete database and imagery to assist with identifications at sea and in the laboratory.
  • EoL: Encyclopedia of Life
    The EoL vision is to give global access to knowledge about life on Earth. EoL want to increase the awareness and understanding of living nature through an Encyclopedia of Life that gathers, generates, and shares knowledge in an open, freely accessible and trusted digital resource.

Pilot projects

During 2013-2015, a number of pilot projects were initiated and funded by the EMODnet Biology project.

The goal of each of these pilots was twofolded: (1) to investigate the challenges associated with collating trait information for specific taxonomic groups and (2) to document the trait information in a uniform way, through a standardized spreadsheet. All pilot projects were carried out by taxonomical experts affiliated with universities or research institutes. The data from all pilot projects are literature-based: published literature was scanned to find as much information as possible for each target trait.

Details of each pilot project are available through the project reports.

  • Collecting biological trait information for zooplanktonic Copepoda - project report
  • Integrating biological traits of European marine benthic taxa into the World Register of Marine Species - project report
  • Defining biological trait information for “true” European seabirds and European coastal birds - project report
  • Integrating biological traits of European Macroalgae into the World Register of Marine Species - project report
  • Collection and integration of biological trait information for introduced invasive marine species into WoRMS - project report
    This information is also available through a thematic portal within WoRMS: the World Register of Introduced Marine Species - WRiMS
  • Documenting body sizes of Nematoda species - project report
    This pilot project also relates to the re-launch of NeMys, the World Database of Free-Living Marine Nematodes.