AVONET: morphological, ecological and geographical data for all birds


Joseph A. Tobias, Imperial College London
Catherine Sheard, University of Oxford
Alex L. Pigot, University of Oxford
Adam J.M. Devenish, Imperial College London
Jingyi Yang, Imperial College London
Ferran Sayol, University College London
Montague H.C. Neate-Clegg, University of Oxford
Nico Alioravainen, University of Oxford
Thomas L. Weeks, Imperial College London
Robert A. Barber, Imperial College London
Patrick A. Walkden, Imperial College London
Hannah E.A. MacGregor, University of Oxford
Samuel E.I. Jones, University of Oxford
Claire Vincent, United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre
Anna G. Phillips, Senckenberg Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrum
Nicola M. Marples, Trinity College Dublin
Flavia A. Montaño-Centellas, Universidad Mayor de San Andres Bolivia
Victor Leandro-Silva, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
Santiago Claramunt, Royal Ontario Museum
Bianca Darski, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
Benjamin G. Freeman, The University of British Columbia
Tom P. Bregman, University of Oxford
Christopher R. Cooney, The University of Sheffield
Emma C. Hughes, The University of Sheffield
Elliot J.R. Capp, The University of Sheffield
Zoë K. Varley, The University of Sheffield
Nicholas R. Friedman, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University
Heiko Korntheuer, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Andrea Corrales-Vargas, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica
Christopher H. Trisos, University of Oxford
Brian C. Weeks, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Dagmar M. Hanz, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main



Document Type

Letter to the Editor

Publication Date


Publication Title

Ecology Letters


Functional traits offer a rich quantitative framework for developing and testing theories in evolutionary biology, ecology and ecosystem science. However, the potential of functional traits to drive theoretical advances and refine models of global change can only be fully realised when species-level information is complete. Here we present the AVONET dataset containing comprehensive functional trait data for all birds, including six ecological variables, 11 continuous morphological traits, and information on range size and location. Raw morphological measurements are presented from 90,020 individuals of 11,009 extant bird species sampled from 181 countries. These data are also summarised as species averages in three taxonomic formats, allowing integration with a global phylogeny, geographical range maps, IUCN Red List data and the eBird citizen science database. The AVONET dataset provides the most detailed picture of continuous trait variation for any major radiation of organisms, offering a global template for testing hypotheses and exploring the evolutionary origins, structure and functioning of biodiversity.





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PubMed ID



85122971901 (Scopus)