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SUPPORTING INFORMATION TO THE PAPER
Bruelheide et al. sPlot – a new tool for global vegetation analyses. Journal of Vegetation Science.
1
APPENDIX S6. Trait information in sPlot 2.1
Table S6.4. List of traits, abbreviation of trait names, identifier in the Thesaurus Of Plant characteristics
(TOP; Garnier et al., 2017) and mean values of community-weighted means (CWM) and community-
weighted variances (CWV) calculated across 1,117,369 and 1,099,463 plots, respectively. All trait values
refer to gap-filled trait values and were available for 26,632 out of the 54,519 taxa in sPlot (45.9%). Trait
values were log-transformed prior to analysis. Stem specific density is stem dry mass per stem fresh
volume, specific leaf area is leaf area per leaf dry mass, leaf C, N and P are leaf carbon, nitrogen and
phosphorus content, respectively. Leaf dry matter content is leaf dry mass per leaf fresh mass, leaf delta
15
N is the leaf nitrogen isotope ratio, stem conduit density is the number of vessels (angiosperms) or
tracheids (gymnosperms) per unit area in a cross section, conduit element length refers to both vessel
elements and tracheids.
Trait Abbreviation in
sPlot dataset
TOP Unit Mean
Log(CWM)
Mean
Log(CWV)
Leaf area LA 25 mm
2
6.130 1.565
Stem specific density SSD 286 g cm
-
3
-0.869 0.058
Specific leaf area
SLA
50
m
kg
-
1
2.850
0.150
Leaf C LeafC 452 mg g
-
1
6.116 0.002
Leaf N LeafN 462 mg g
-
1
3.038 0.063
Leaf P LeafP 463 mg g
-
1
0.535 0.117
Plant height Plant.height 68 m -0.315 1.259
Seed mass Seed.mass 103 mg 0.407 2.784
Seed length Seed.length 91 mm 1.069 0.365
Leaf dry matter content LDMC 45 g g
-
-1.294 0.130
Leaf N per area LeafN.per.area 481 g m
-
2
0.251 0.099
Leaf N:P ratio Leaf.N:P.ratio - g g
-
2.444 0.081
Leaf δ
15
N Leaf.delta15N - per million 0.521 0.455
Seed number per reproductive unit Seed.num.rep.unit - 6.179 5.156
Leaf fresh mass Leaf.fresh.mass 35 g -2.125 1.520
Stem conduit density Stem.cond.dens - mm
-
2
4.407 0.975
Dispersal unit length Disp.unit.length 90 mm 1.225 0.451
Conduit element length Cond.elem.length - µm 5.946 0.367
References
Garnier, E., Stahl, U., Laporte, M.-A., Kattge, J., Mougenot, I., Kühn, I., … Klotz, S. (2017). Towards a
thesaurus of plant characteristics: an ecological contribution. Journal of Ecology, 105, 298–309.

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Article
1.Ecological research produces a tremendous amount of data, but the diversity in scales and topics covered and the ways in which studies are carried out result in large numbers of small, idiosyncratic data sets using heterogeneous terminologies. Such heterogeneity can be attributed, in part, to a lack of standards for acquiring, organizing and describing data. Here, we propose a terminological resource, a Thesaurus Of Plant characteristics (TOP), whose aim is to harmonize and formalize concepts for plant characteristics widely used in ecology.