MERP Trait Explorer

Choose a taxon

For many applications we need to know the traits of marine species. This is crucial for understanding ecosystem function and building ecosystem models. Unfortunately, while literature and online databases are replete with trait values, we are still a long way away from complete characterization of every species.

The Trait Explorer addresses this issue by estimating traits for any species, through a form of "automated expert judgement" that combines large datasets with published trait values and the latest taxonomic information. Its results account for taxonomic relationships between species (related species tend to have similar traits) and power law-like relationships between traits (e.g., organism mass is a good predictor for other size metrics and many physiological traits).

Examples of estimated traits:

New! This web service now provides Dynamic Energy Budget parameters for any species.

Trait Explorer is developed by Jorn Bruggeman at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please send these to

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Trait Explorer uses taxonomic data from WoRMS: the World Register of marine Species. Available from at VLIZ. doi:10.14284/170