[Coral-List] Commenting period open for Coral Traitbase v 1.0

Widman, Elizabeth E.A.Widman at warwick.ac.uk
Tue Aug 9 05:44:05 EDT 2011

Dear Coral listers,

As part of my PhD project I am building a online database of Scleractinian coral traits.  The trait database will be made available to the wider coral research community within the next couple of months.  Since you, the coral reef research and conservation community, will be the end-users of this database I would greatly appreciate input on what type of user interface would be most useful to you in your work.  In addition, if you have any coral trait data (published or unpublished) that you would like to contribute to the website please email it to E.A.Widman at warwick.ac.uk.  All submission will be cited and referenced on the website.

The coral trait categories included in the database thus far are morphological traits (on the corallite and colony level), reproductive traits (sexuality and reproductive mode), distribution, depth range, growth rates, larval competency, zooxanthellae clade, egg size, and aggression index.  Suggestions for, and contributions to, additional trait categories are most welcomed.

Suggestions for the user interface (UI) of the trait database thus far have been:

- Different options for selecting the coral species that the database will return trait data for: 1.) selecting all corals for a particular region via a radio button, 2.) pasting a species list into a box, or 3.) uploading a species list in a csv file format

- The ability to download coral trait tables for select coral species as a csv file for use in excel, access etc. 

- Options to select specific trait categories to be returned (i.e. reproductive traits, morphological traits etc

- Options to return trait data in binary form (i.e. a species either has or doesn't have a growth rate between 2-4 cm/year) or continuous form (i.e. a growth rate of 2.6 cm/year)

- Options to select published, grey, or both forms of trait data

- An 'upload page' for uploading data that authors wish to contribute to the database

- An 'tools page' containing excel plugins, and R packages for calculating trait diversity scores

- An 'contributors page' where each database contributor is listed

- A 'browse page' where the user can browse to a specific coral species and read about its trait in text format. 

Any suggestions or requests for how to structure the UI to best suit you in your workflow is most welcomed.  Please submit your comments before the 26th of August so that they can be taken into consideration for Coral Traitbase v 1.0. Comments submitted after the 26th will be considered for v 1.1. 

All the best,

Elizabeth Widman
PhD Candiate in Systems Ecology
University of Warwick
Coventry, UK
E.A.Widman at warwick.ac.uk

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