A full list of the traits, categories and their definitions are listed below.


Morphology

Body Size
small (BS1) <10 mm
small-medium (BS2) 10-50 mm
medium (BS3) 50-100 mm
medium-large (BS4) 100-300 mm
large (BS5) >300 mm
Weight
low (W1) < 0.1 g
low-medium (W2) 0.1-1.0 g
medium (W3) 1.0-10 g
medium-high (W4) 10-100 g
high (W5) > 100 g
Body Form
cylindrical / elongated (BF6) Cylindrical or elongated
turbinate (BF7) Whorled (e.g. gastropoda)
bivalved (BF8) Having two valves joined by a flexible ligament (bivalves)
conical (BF9) Cone shaped (e.g. limpets)
mat (BF10) A dense mass which blankets the substratum
dendroid / shrub (BF11) Having irregular branches near or above the ground
foliose (BF12) Bearing leaves or leaf-like structures
straplike / ribbonlike (BF13) In the form of strap or ribbon (algae)
fillamentous / filiform (BF14) Slender and threadlike
globulose (BF1) Round or oval (e.g. sea urchin, sponge, some bivalves)
vermiform (BF2) Worm-like
dorso-ventral compressed (BF3) Species that are flat, or encrusting (e.g. starfish, sponge)
laterally compressed (BF4) Thin (e.g. isopods, amphipods, some bivalves)
upright (BF5) E.g. coral, basket star, sponge
Skeleton
calcareous (SK1) Skeleton material aragonite or calcite, e.g. bivalves
siliceous (SK2) Skeleton material silicate, e.g. siliceous sponges
chitinous (SK3) Skeleton material chitin, e.g. arthropods
cuticle (SK4) No skeleton but a protective structure like a cuticle, e.g. sea-squirts
none (SK5) No form of protective structure, e.g. sea slugs
Fragility
fragile (FR1) Likely to crush, break, or crack as a result of physical impact (e.g. brittle star, soft worms, smaller crustaceans, mollusks with thin shells)
intermediate (FR2) Liable to suffer minor damage, chips or cracks as result of physical impacts (e.g. mollusks with thicker shells, animals with harder cuticle like some echinoderms)
robust (FR3) Unlikely to be damaged as a result of physical impacts, e.g. hard or tough enough to withstand impact, or leathery or wiry enough to resist impact (e.g. starfish, sponges, tunicates)
Sociability
solitary (SO1) Single individual
gregarious (SO2) Single individuals forming groups; growing in clusters (e.g. barnacles)
colonial (SO3) Living in permanent colonies (e.g. stony corals, Bryozoa, Synascidia)


Life History

Fecundity
<50 (F1)
50 - 500 (F2)
500 - 2500 (F3)
2500 - 10000 (F4)
10000 - 20000 (F5)
20000 - 100000 (F6)
>100000 (F7)
Developmental mechanism
oviparous (DM1) Reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body
viviparous (DM2) Reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female
spores (DM3) A plant reproductive cell capable of developing into a new individual, directly or after fussion with another spore (zoospores, akinetes, oospores, zygospores)
Mode of reproduction
gonochoristic (MR1) Having separate sexes throughout life
simultaneous hermaphrodite (MR2) Condition of hermaphroditic animals (and plants) in which the reproductive organs of both sexes are present and functional at the same time
sequential hermaphrodite (MR3) Sequential hermaphrodites are born as one sex, but can later change into the opposite sex
asexual (MR4) Reproduction that is not sexual; that is, reproduction that does not include recombining the genotypes of two parents. e.g. budding, parthenogenesis, fission, fragmentation, vegetative
Reproduction / Spawning frequency of the population
multiple events / year (RSF1) More than once per year, but in relatively defined peaks or intense periods that do not fall within a drawn-out period
continuous or semi-continuous (RSF2) Reproduction occurs all year round or for the most part of the year
annually / seasonally (RSF3) Yearly over a drawn out period of several weeks or few months, or always in a defined season, peaks or epidemic swarming can occur within this period
Metamorphosis type
catastrophic (MT1) The metamorphosis is accompanied by massive internal change coupled with catastrophic destruction of the larval tissues. Huge chunks of the larval body, its tissues and organs, are digested away and reabsorbed, or simply discarde
non-catastrophic (MT2) The adult develops from the juvenile through a process of extension and differential growth, including different larval stages but without a drastic change of the body plan
Reproduction strategy of the individual
iteroparous (RS1) Breeding several times per lifetime
semelparous (RS2) Organisms that have only one brood during the life time and then the parent usually dies
Age at first reproduction
≤2 months (AFR1)
2 - 6 months (AFR2)
6 months - 1year (AFR3)
1 - 2 years (AFR4)
2 - 3 years (AFR5)
3 - 4 years (AFR6)
≥4 years (AFR7)
Synchronization of spawning
yes (SOS1) Organisms whose populations undergo through a synchronized ripening of the gametes, usually culminating in an epidemic spawning event
no (SOS2) Organisms whose populations do not undergo through a synchronized ripening of the gametes
Fertilisation type
external (broadcast spawner) (FT2) Fertilization external, eggs & sperm deposited on substrate or released into water (broadcast spawners) (e.g. echinoderms, cnidarians) A method of reproduction during which the gametes (egg and sperm) unite outside the body
internal (FT1) Fertilization internal, but no brooding, eggs deposited on substrate, indirect or direct development (e.g. gastropods) Fertilization takes place within the female's body
external (pseudocopulation) (FT3) A form of external fertilization where the partners are in close contact
Larval development
pelagic/planktotrophic (LD1) High fecundity, larvae feed and grow in water column, generally pelagic for several weeks (e.g. echinoderms, bivalves)
pelagic/lecitotrophic (LD2) Medium fecundity, larvae with yolk sac, pelagic for short periods (e.g. tunicates)
benthic/direct (LD3) Larvae have benthic or direct development (no larval stage, eggs develop into miniature adults)
Longevity/Life Span
short (A1) <2 years
medium (A2) 2-5 years
medium-long (A3) 5-20 years
long (A4) >20years


Behaviour

Habitat Type of settlement / early development
algae (HTS1) Macroalgae surfaces, such as Laminaria spp., or fucoids
biogenic reef (HTS2) Solid, massive structure which is created by accumulations of organisms, usually rising from the seabed, or at least clearly forming a substantial, discrete community or habitat which is very different from the surrounding seabed. The structure of the reef may be composed almost entirely of the reef building organism and its tubes or shells, or it may to some degree be composed of sediments, stones and shells bound together by the organism
caves (HTS3) A hollow normally eroded in a cliff, with the penetration being greater than the width at the entrance. Caves can also be formed by boulders
crevices / fissures (HTS4) Crevices are narrow cracks in a hard substratum <10 mm wide at its entrance, with the penetration being greater than the width at the entrance. Fissures are cracks in a hard substratum >10 mm wide at its entrance, with the depth being greater than the width at the entrance
maerl / coralligenous habitats (HTS5) A coralligenous habitat is defined by the presence of a bioherm of coralline algae grown at low irradiance levels and in relatively calm waters [1119]. Maerl denotes loose-lying, normally non-geniculate (i.e. not jointed), coralline red algae. Depending on the terminology used, maerl refers either to a class of rhodoliths, or may be considered distinct from rhodoliths in lacking a non-algal core. Maerl beds are composed of living or dead unattached corallines forming accumulations with or without terrigenous material
other species (HTS6) Epibiont of other species
overhangs (HTS7) An overhanging part of a rock formation
rockpools (HTS8) A depression in the littoral zone of a rocky seashore, where, during low tide, seawater is left behind
salt marsh (HTS9) A marsh whose water contains a considerable quantity of dissolved salts
seagrass (HTS10) Habitat associated with seagrass meadows communities. Seagrasses are flowering plants that are adapted to living fully submerged and rooted in estuarine and marine environments
strandline (HTS11) A line on the shore composing debris deposited by a receding tide; commonly used to denote the line of debris at the level of extreme high water
under boulders (HTS12) Under unattached rocks that can be very large (>1024 mm), large (512 - 1024 mm) or small (256 - 512 mm)
water column (HTS13) Pelagic habitat
hard substrates (HTS14) e.g. boulders, cobbles, bedrock, gravel
soft sediments (HTS15) Deposits with a high water content (near or above the liquid limit) where the percolating skeleton is made of fine-grained soils (clay fraction above ~ 20%), with a high degree of saturation, and subjected to low effective confinement (e.g. sand, mud, clay, silt)
Parental care / Brood protection
no (PC1) A species does not provide parental care to its offspring beyond supplying them with a small package of yolk that serves as an initial source of nutrition until the offspring are fully capable of fending for themselves
outside microenvironment of the parent (PC2) Permanently attached to a substratum (non-motile) or capable of movement across (or through) it (semi-motile)
within microenvironment of the parent (PC3) Parental care is provided either on the body of the parent or in its immediate living environment (e.g. in a burrow, tube or nest)
Migrations of adult
yes (MA1) A species in its adult stage is migratory
no (MA2) A species in its adult stage is non-migratory and remains within the same area
Strength of adherence
firmly (SA1) attached strongly
loosely (SA2) attached loosely
mobile (SA3) not attached
Zonation
littoral zone (Z2) The area of the foreshore and seabed that is exposed to the air at low tide and submerged at high tide, i.e., the area between tide marks
supralittoral zone (Z1) The zone immediately above the highest water level and subjected to wetting by spray or wave splash
sublittoral zone (Z3) The zone of the shore immediately below the lowest water level and the edge of the continental shelf (ca. 200 m)
epipelagic (Z4) The zone of an ocean from the surface to 200m where photosynthesis can occur, due to the penetration of light
mesopelagic (Z5) The water column from the upper aphotic zone (ca. 200 m) to a depth of ca. 100 m
bathyal / bathypelagic zone (Z6) The steep descent zone from 200 m to 4000 m depth / the water column from ca. 1000 m to a depth of ca. 2500 m
abyssal / abyssopelagic zone (Z7) The zone between 4000 - 6000 m depth / the zone of the ocean below the bathypelagic zone, with its lowest boundary at about 6000 m
hadal / hadalpelagic zone (Z8) Sea floor deeper than 6000 m (e.g. oceanic trenches) / the zone of an ocean in oceanic trenches, lying between 6000 m and 10000 m
Predated by
annelids (PB1)
crustaceans (PB2)
fish (PB3)
birds (PB4)
mollusks (PB5)
echinoderms (PB6)
mammals (PB7)
Juvenile mobility
crawler (JM1) An organism that moves along on the substratum via movements of its legs, appendages (e.g. parapodia and chaetae) or muscles
burrower (JM2) An organism that lives or moves in a burrow in soft sediments
swimmer (JM3) An organism that moves through the water column via movements of its fins, legs or appendages, via undulatory movements of the body or via jet propulsion; includes pelagic phases during reproduction (swarming at the surface)
non-motile / semi-motile (JM4) Permanently attached to a substratum (non-motile) or capable of movement across (or through) it (semi-motile)
Habitat Type
overhangs (HT7) An overhanging part of a rock formation
rockpools (HT8) A depression in the littoral zone of a rocky seashore, where, during low tide, seawater is left behind
salt marsh (HT9) A marsh whose water contains a considerable quantity of dissolved salts
seagrass (HT10) Habitat associated with seagrass meadows communities. Seagrasses are flowering plants that are adapted to living fully submerged and rooted in estuarine and marine environments
strandline (HT11) A line on the shore composing debris deposited by a receding tide; commonly used to denote the line of debris at the level of extreme high water
under boulders (HT12) Under unattached rocks that can be very large (>1024 mm), large (512 - 1024 mm) or small (256 - 512 mm)
water column (HT13) Pelagic habitat
soft sediments (HT14) Deposits with a high water content (near or above the liquid limit) where the percolating skeleton is made of fine-grained soils (clay fraction above ~ 20%), with a high degree of saturation, and subjected to low effective confinement (e.g. sand, mud, clay, silt)
hard substrates (HT15) e.g. boulders, cobbles, bedrock, gravel
algae (HT1) Macroalgae surfaces, such as Laminaria spp., or fucoids
biogenic reef (HT2) Solid, massive structure which is created by accumulations of organisms, usually rising from the seabed, or at least clearly forming a substantial, discrete community or habitat which is very different from the surrounding seabed. The structure of the reef may be composed almost entirely of the reef building organism and its tubes or shells, or it may to some degree be composed of sediments, stones and shells bound together by the organism
caves (HT3) A hollow normally eroded in a cliff, with the penetration being greater than the width at the entrance. Caves can also be formed by boulders
crevices / fissures (HT4) Crevices are narrow cracks in a hard substratum <10 mm wide at its entrance, with the penetration being greater than the width at the entrance. Fissures are cracks in a hard substratum >10 mm wide at its entrance, with the depth being greater than the width at the entrance
maerl / coralligenous habitats (HT5) A coralligenous habitat is defined by the presence of a bioherm of coralline algae grown at low irradiance levels and in relatively calm waters [1119]. Maerl denotes loose-lying, normally non-geniculate (i.e. not jointed), coralline red algae. Depending on the terminology used, maerl refers either to a class of rhodoliths, or may be considered distinct from rhodoliths in lacking a non-algal core. Maerl beds are composed of living or dead unattached corallines forming accumulations with or without terrigenous material
other species (HT6) Epibiont of other species
Mobility of adult
drifter (MV5) An organism whose movement is depended on wind or water currents
temprorary attachment (MV6) Attached to a substratum but able to move across or through it
sessile/none/permanent attachment (MV1) No movement as adult (sponge, coral) Non motile, permananetly attached at the base
burrower (MV2) Movement in the sediment (e.g. annelids, echinoderms, crustaceans, bivalves)
crawler (MV3) An organism that moves along on the substratum via movements of its legs, appendages or muscles (e.g. crab, snail)
swimmer (facultative) (MV4) Movement above the sediment (e.g. Amphipoda)
Feeding Mode
scavenger (FH7) An organism that feeds on dead organic material (e.g. crabs, whelks)
photoautotroph (FH8) An organism that can produce energy using light and carbon dioxide via the process of photosynthesis
chemoautotroph (FH9) An organism that obtains energy by the oxidation of electron donors in their environments using organic or inorganic molecules
grazer (FH10) An organism that feeds on plants (e.g. seagrasses) and on other multicellular autotrophs (such as algae)
surface deposit feeder (FH1) Active removal of detrital material from the sediment surface. Includes species which scrape and/or graze algal matter from surfaces.
subsurface deposit feeder (FH2) Removal of detrital material from within the sediment matrix (e.g. Echinocardium)
filter / suspension feeder (FH3) Sponge, coral, hydrozoa, bivalves
opportunist (FH4) An organism that can use different types of food sources
predator (FH5) An organism that feeds by preying on other organisms (e.g. starfish).
parasite/commensal (FH6) An organism that lives in or on another living organism (the host), from which it obtains food and other requirements.
Substrate Type
soft (ST1) Soft substrata, sand or mud
hard (ST2) Hard substrata, rock, gravel
biological (ST3) Epizoic or epiphytic life style
none (ST4) Species is hyper/supra benthic and has no affinity for a certain substrate, but it might prefer one for hunting/scavenging (this category should not occur too often, as we work with benthos)
Ecosystem engineering/Bioturbation
yes (EEB6) if yes, specify into which category below
regenerator (EEB7) Regenerators are excavators that dig and continuously to maintain burrows in the sediment and by doing so they mechanically transfer sediment from depth to the surface
blind-ended ventilation (EEB8) Ventilation occurs when animals flush their burrows with overlying water for respiratory and feeding purposes. Blind-ended ventilation occurs when I-shaped burrows are flushed uni- or bidirectionally depending on the permeability of the sediment.
open-ended ventilation (EEB9) In open-ended ventilation the burrows are U-shaped and can be flushed easily from one end to the other
habitat-building (EEB10) Species which create structures which in turn form new habitats for other species
biodiffusor / diffusive mixing (EEB1) Surficial movement of sediment and/or particles, resulting from movement or feeding activities on the surface
surface deposition (EEB2) Deposition of particles at the sediment surface resulting from e.g. defecation or egestion (pseudofaeces) by, for example, surface deposit feeding organisms (e.g. holothuroids, bivalves, tubicolous polychaetes)
conveyor belt transport (upward) (EEB3) Translocation of sediment and/or particulates from depth within the sediment to the surface during subsurface deposit feeding or burrow excavation
downward (reverse) conveyor (EEB4) The subduction of particles from the surface to some depth by feeding or defecation
none (EEB5) No bioturbation (e.g. sessile animals on rocky ground)
Tolerance
low (T1) Species reacts sensitive to changes in the environment like organic enrichment, pollution, temperature or salinity changes; AMBI group I
intermediate (T2) Species react indifferent or no information available; AMBI group II
high (T3) Species tolerates organic enrichments, pollution, temperature or salinity changes; AMBI groups III-IV
Environmental position
interstitial (EP4) Living in the spaces between grains in a sediment
pelagic (EP5) Inhabiting the open sea, excluding the sea floor
epilithic (EP6) Attached to / growing on the surface of rock
endolithic (EP7) Organism that colonize the interior of any kind of rock but not actively boring into it
lithotomous (EP8) Actively boring into rocks and living in these burrows
boring in biogenic substrate (EP9) Boring in biogenic hard substrate and living in these burrows
epizoic (EP10) Growing or living on or in a living animal (but not parasitic upon it)
epiphytic (EP11) Growing on or in a living plant (but not parasitic upon it)
parasitic (EP12) Living in or on another organism at the expense of this host
endobenthic / infauna (EP1) Lives in the sediment
epibenthic (EP2) Lives on the surface of the seabed
hyper-benthic (EP3) Living in the water column, but (primarily/occasionally) feeds on the bottom; bentho-pelagic
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