Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/13-1917.1


Data Paper

Ecological Archives E095-178-D1.

Copyright


Authors
Data Files
Abstract
Metadata


Author(s)

Hamish Wilman
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department
Yale University
165 Prospect Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06511 USA

Jonathan Belmaker
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department
Yale University
165 Prospect Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06511 USA
and
Department of Zoology
George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences
Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, 69978 Israel

Jennifer Simpson Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department
Yale University
165 Prospect Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06511 USA
and
Scientific Technologies Corporation
4400 East Broadway Boulevard Suite 705
Tucson, Arizona 85711 USA

Carolina de la Rosa
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department
Yale University
165 Prospect Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06511 USA

Marcelo M. Rivadeneira
Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Zonas Aridas (CEAZA) & Universidad Católica del Norte
Av. Ossandón 877, C.P. 178168, Coquimbo, Chile

Walter Jetz
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department
Yale University
165 Prospect Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06511 USA
E-mail: walter.jetz@yale.edu


Data Files

BirdFuncDat.txt (MD5: d6197b2cd90ca3ece0a7393abbf8b7fc)

MamFuncDat.txt (MD5: 59c3eee29d3ed0a33a002975a5a8cc75)

BirdFuncDatSources.txt (MD5: e4793ab8baa813bba7d168a3d2d6b6a7)

MamFuncDatSources.txt (MD5: 0c67fa8bf6b6ccb7a38fc5229f84508b)


Abstract

Species are characterized by physiological, behavioral, and ecological attributes that are all subject to varying evolutionary and ecological constraints and jointly determine their role and function in ecosystems. Attributes such as diet, foraging strata, foraging time, and body size, in particular, determine a large portion of the “Eltonian” niches of species. Here we present a global species-level compilation of these key attributes for all 9993 and 5400 extant bird and mammal species derived from key literature sources. Global handbooks and monographs allowed the consistent sourcing of attributes for most species. For diet and foraging stratum we followed a defined protocol to translate the verbal descriptions into standardized, semiquantitative information about relative importance of different categories. Together with body size (continuous) and activity time (categorical) this enables a much finer distinction of species’ foraging ecology than typical categorical guild assignments allow. Attributes lacking information for specific species were flagged, and interpolated values based on taxonomy were provided instead. The presented data set is limited by, among others, these select cases missing observed data, by errors and uncertainty in the expert assessment as presented in the literature, and by the lack of intraspecific information. However, the standardized and transparent nature and complete global coverage of the data set should support an array of potential studies in biogeography, community ecology, macroevolution, global change biology, and conservation. Potential uses include comparative work involving these traits as focal or secondary variables, ecological research on the trait or trophic structure of communities, or conservation science concerned with the loss of function among species or in ecosystems in a changing world. We hope that this publication will spur the sharing, collaborative curation, and extension of data to the benefit of a more integrative, rigorous, and global biodiversity science.

Key words: bird; body size; diet; eco-informatics; foraging; function; mammal; mass; niche; stratum; traits; vertebrate.