Macrobenthic traits, for example feeding mode, life history, morphology, are increasingly used for determining responses of macrobenthic fauna to environmental change and influences on ecosystem functioning. Yet, trait information is scarce or non-existent in several parts of the world, such as New Zealand. This deficit makes collecting trait data a difficult and time-consuming task, limiting its potential use in trait-based assessments. Here, we present the New Zealand Trait Database (NZTD) for marine benthic invertebrates, the first comprehensive assessment of macrobenthic traits in New Zealand. The NZTD provides trait information for more than 700 macrobenthic taxa, categorised by 18 traits and 77 trait modalities. The NZTD includes five freely downloadable datasets, (1) the macrobenthic trait dataset, with outcomes from a fuzzy coding procedure, (2) the trait source information, (3) the references by taxa, (4) the full references list, and (5) the full taxa list used in the NZTD. Establishing the NZTD closes the trait knowledge gap in New Zealand and facilitates future research applying trait-based approaches to New Zealand's coastal macrofauna.
- Ecosystem ecology
- Marine biology