Worldwide ‘Open Access’ Tree Functional Attributes and Ecological Database

There are several global databases of plant functional attributes and traits, but they have restricted access. ICRAF’s Tree functional attributes and ecological databases are open to all users, but cover only part of the user needs. The common answer to the trade off between ‘public good’ data access and the proprietary nature of data owned by partners, is to provide ‘meta data’ or allow access to summarized forms of the primary dataset. New efforts are under way to broaden the information content and bring the platform and structure up to date with current technical opportunities. Three types of basic data are at the basis of it 1) properties and attributes of trees, usually at species level, that include geographic distribution, ecological requirements, growth rates, utility and value chain information, 2) geographic locations where trees are known to occur, 3) plot-level inventory data of co-occurrence of trees in (modified) forest, agroforest or simple agroforestry settings. By linking databases of these three types, a range of user questions can be answered about ‘right tree in right place for clear reason’. We have started to bring together all data available in ICRAF-Indonesia and its close partners onto a platform that we hope can attract wider use; the platform itself, within the constraints of the overall architecture, is open to further additions by a user community. We seek inputs on the selection and definition of tree functional attributes that should be captured for the database, and the way these can be linked to standardized analysis of plot-level or occurrence data and/or linked to models of tree growth and performance under current or future climatic conditions.

Database Modules Diagram

Species ID
Tree Inventory
Plot ID
Species Properties
Ecological Range
Growth Parameters
Product and Market
Species Use, Utility and Ethnobotany
Growth and Yield Models
Watershed Function
Soil and Land Form
Plot Map Coordinates
Carbon Stock
Tree Suitability
World Map
Climatic Zonation
Land Cover and Conectivity
Floristic and Eco-Regions
Functional diversity indicator, Ecolabeling criteria
Taxonomy, Synonyms
Common Names
Botanical Description
Digital Herbarium
Pollination and Dispersal
Wood Density
Allometric Relations
Leaf Morphotype
Species Identification Tools