MOSAIC - A Unified Trait Database to Complement Structured Population Models


Despite exponential growth in ecological data availability, broader interoperability amongst datasets is needed to unlock the potential of open access. Our understanding of the interface of demography and functional traits is well-positioned to benefit from such interoperability. Here, we introduce MOSAIC, an open-access trait database that unlocks the demographic potential stored in the COMADRE, COMPADRE, and PADRINO open-access databases. MOSAIC data were digitised and curated through a combination of existing datasets and new trait records sourced from primary literature. In its first release, MOSAIC (v. 1.0.0) includes 14 trait fields for 300 animal and plant species - biomass, height, growth determination, regeneration, sexual dimorphism, mating system, hermaphrodism, sequential hermaphrodism, dispersal capacity, type of dispersal, mode of dispersal, dispersal classes, volancy, and aquatic habitat dependency. MOSAIC includes species-level phylogenies for 1,359 species and population-specific climate data. We identify how database integration can improve our understanding of traits well-quantified in existing repositories and those that are poorly quantified (e.g., growth determination, modularity). MOSAIC highlights emerging challenges associated with standardising databases and demographic measures.

Nature Scientific Data
Erik Kusch
Erik Kusch
Senior Engineer & Research Infrastructure Manager

In my research, I focus on statistical approaches to understanding complex processes and patterns in biology using a variety of data banks.