To address the need for a centralized root trait database, we are compiling the Fine-Root Ecology Database (FRED) from published literature and unpublished data. FRED Version 1 (FRED 1.0) currently houses more than 70,000 observations of root traits and their associated site, vegetation, edaphic, and climatic conditions from across the globe (see image below, which shows the more than 1000 distinct locations associated with observations in FRED 1.0). Data collection is ongoing and will continue for the foreseeable future. The more than 300 root traits currently housed in FRED 1.0 are described in detail here. FRED is focused on fine roots (less than 2 mm), as coarse roots are studied using different methodology, often at very different scales, and have different traits and trait interpretations. However, FRED accepts data collected from roots of all sizes, and already contains several observations of coarse roots. We will use this website to communicate and provide updates regarding FRED, so stay tuned!

This work is supported by the Department of Energy's Office of Science, under the Biological and Environmental Research program.