Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany; German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Germany

Jens is a plant ecologist based in Jena, Germany.

Collaboration statement

I am group leader of the Functional Biogeography Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry and mainly involved in following initiatives:

  • TRY Plant Tait Database ( I coordinate the TRY initiative on plant traits, a global network of vegetation scientists providing free and open access to plant trait data. The TRY database is continuously growing and currently (September 2019) contains 11,850,781 trait records for 2091 traits and 279,875 plant taxa, compiled from more than 10,000 original publications. TRY invites the contribution of new plant traits datasets via the TRY Data Portal (
  • TOP Thesaurus of Plant Characteristic ( The TOP thesaurus provides names, definitions, formal units and synonyms for more than 700 plant characteristics: plant traits and environmental associations. TOP welcomes collaboration on the development of new definitions for plant traits.
  • GEO BON working group on Species Traits ( The Species Traits WG focuses on identifying, characterizing and monitoring relevant species traits, and how they are changing in time. We are starting to develop global data products of essential biodiversity variables on species traits to support IPBES. The working proup welcomes new members.

My Google Scholar Profile:

Key publications

Kattge et al. (2011). TRY - a global database of plant traits. Global Change Biology, 17(9), 2905-2935. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02451.x.

Kattge, J., Ogle, K., Bönisch, G., Díaz, S., Lavorel, S., Madin, J., Nadrowski, K., Nöllert, S., Sartor, K., Wirth, C. (2011). A generic structure for plant trait databases. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 2(2), 202-213. doi:10.1111/j.2041-210X.2010.00067.x.

Garnier, E. et al. (2017). Towards a thesaurus of plant characteristics: an ecological contribution. Journal of Ecology, 105(2), 298-309. doi:10.1111/1365-2745.12698.

Kissling, et al. (2018). Towards global data products of essential biodiversity variables on species traits. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2, 1531-1540. doi:10.1038/s41559-018-0667-3.