14 Oct 2022
 | 14 Oct 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

AlgaeTraits: a trait database for (European) seaweeds

Sofie Vranken, Marine Robuchon, Stefanie Dekeyzer, Ignacio Bárbara, Inka Bartsch, Aurélie Blanfuné, Charles-François Boudouresque, Wim Decock, Christophe Destombe, Bruno de Reviers, Pilar Díaz-Tapia, Anne Herbst, Romain Julliard, Rolf Karez, Priit Kersen, Stacy A. Krueger-Hadfield, Ralph Kuhlenkamp, Akira F. Peters, Viviana Peña, Cristina Piñeiro-Corbeira, Fabio Rindi, Florence Rousseau, Jan Rueness, Hendrik Schubert, Kjersti Sjøtun, Marta Sansón, Dan Smale, Thierry Thibaut, Myriam Valero, Leen Vandepitte, Bart Vanhoorne, Alba Vergés, Marc Verlaque, Christophe Vieira, Line Le Gall, Frederik Leliaert, and Olivier De Clerck

Abstract. The analysis of biological and ecological traits has a long history in evolutionary and ecological research. However, trait data are often scattered and standardised terminology that transcends taxonomic and biogeographical context are generally missing. As part of the development of a global trait database of marine species, we collated trait information for European seaweeds and structured the data within the standardised framework of the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS). We collected 45,175 records for 21 biologically and ecologically relevant traits of seaweeds. This resulted in a trait database for 1,745 European seaweed species of which more than half (56 %) of the records were documented at the species level, while the remaining 44 % was documented at a higher taxonomic level and subsequently inherited at lower levels. The trait database for European seaweeds will serve as a foundation for future research on diversity and evolution of seaweeds, and their responses to global changes. The data will contribute to developing detailed trait-based ecosystem models, and will be an important tool to inform marine conservation policies. The data is publicly accessible through the AlgaeTraits portal,, doi:, (AlgaeTraits, 2022).

Sofie Vranken et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2022-329', Anonymous Referee #1, 03 Nov 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2022-329', Annalisa Minelli, 08 Mar 2023

Sofie Vranken et al.

Data sets

AlgaeTraits: a trait database for (European) seaweeds AlgaeTraits editors

Sofie Vranken et al.


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Short summary
We present AlgaeTraits, a high-quality seaweed trait database. The data is structured within the framework of WoRMS and is supported by an expert editor community. With 45,175 records for 21 prioritised biological and ecological traits, and a taxonomic coverage of 1,745 European species, AlgaeTraits significantly advances previous efforts to provide standardised seaweed trait data. AlgaeTraits will serve as a foundation for future research on diversity and evolution of seaweeds.