The LEDA Traitbase aims to provide an open Europe-wide database of plant traits relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in changing European landscapes, starting with the flora of Northwest Europe, collated from many national database initiatives and from published and cryptic literature sources, to be used as a tool in planning, in nature conservation and restoration, and in applied research.
The focus of LEDA will be on plant traits that describe three key features of plant dynamics: persistence, regeneration and dispersability.
We will use several sources of knowledge: (i) collation of existing databases, (ii) an extensive compilation from the literature dating back to the 19 th century, (iii)unpublished data from the participants and other colleagues, (iv) additional measurements. This will result in information on more than 20 different traits for each of the envisaged 3000 species of the Northwest European flora. The LEDA Traitbase system will include an WWW interface for data entry and data retrieval, to display metadata, and to work with cluster analysis and data mining tools.
For users, we will test and demonstrate the applicability of the LEDA Traitbase by integrating in the WWW user interface a re-analysis of existing data sets across different spatial scales and European regions. The database system will provide an e-networking platform for the
consortium and for the scientific community in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of national initiatives, to pool transnational expertise on the functional significance of traits, their classification and measurement, and to facilitate the extension of LEDA Traitbase in the future. Within the project, OFFIS will develop the database schema as well as the data mining applications, and configure the