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Biological and ecological traits of marine species
Costello, M.J.; Claus, S.; Dekeyzer, S.; Vandepitte, L.; Ó Tuama, É.; Lear, D.; Tyler-Walters, H. (2015). Biological and ecological traits of marine species. PeerJ 3(e1201): 29 pp.
In: PeerJ. PeerJ: Corte Madera & London. ISSN 2167-8359, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Taxonomy, Distribution, Feeding, Diet, Body-size, Life-history, Habitat, Environment, Databases, Depth

Authors  Top 
  • Ó Tuama, É.
  • Lear, D.
  • Tyler-Walters, H., more

    This paper reviews the utility and availability of biological and ecological traits for marine species so as to prioritise the development of a world database on marine species traits. In addition, the ‘status’ of species for conservation, that is, whether they are introduced or invasive, of fishery or aquaculture interest, harmful, or used as an ecological indicator, were reviewed because these attributes are of particular interest to society. Whereas traits are an enduring characteristic of a species and/or population, a species status may vary geographically and over time. Criteria for selecting traits were that they could be applied to most taxa, were easily available, and their inclusion would result in new research and/or management applications. Numerical traits were favoured over categorical. Habitat was excluded as it can be derived from a selection of these traits. Ten traits were prioritized for inclusion in the most comprehensive open access database on marine species (World Register of Marine Species), namely taxonomic classification, environment, geography, depth, substratum, mobility, skeleton, diet, body size and reproduction. These traits and statuses are being added to the database and new use cases may further subdivide and expand upon them.

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