Meet FRED.
Those of us focused on measuring belowground processes have dusted off our data, pooled them together into one harmonized database, and freely shared these hard-won observations. Our hope is that they will be used by the broader community of root and rhizosphere ecologists to tackle some of the biggest questions in belowground ecology, and that some of the answers to these questions will be hard-coded into the models that inform our understanding of the world as it is now and as it will be in the future. The third version of the Fine-Root Ecology Database is available for download! Download the full FRED 3.0 data set, user guidance document, map, and list of data sources. Prior to downloading the data, please read and follow the Data Use Guidelines, and it’s worth checking out some tips for using FRED before you begin your analyses. For more information, check out the Project page, see Iversen et al. 2017 for a paper describing the FRED initiative, and check out an ORNL research highlight on the story behind FRED. See also a new Virtual Special Issue that highlights new belowground understanding gained from more than 40 awesome papers published in New Phytologist over just the last 2 years!
Contribute data.
FRED is built on community data and its continued improvement and expansion hinges largely on community interest and engagement. We strongly encourage researchers to directly contribute their own data. After all…FRED 4.0 is just over the horizon.
Iversen CM. 2014. Using root form to improve our understanding of root function. New Phytologist 203: 707-709.

Iversen et al. 2017. Viewpoints: A global Fine-Root Ecology Database to address belowground challenges in plant ecology. New Phytologist 215: 15-26.

One of the top New Phytologist papers featured in news and social media in 2017.

One of the top most downloaded New Phytologist papers from 2017 – 2018.

Iversen and McCormack. 2021. Filling gaps in our understanding of belowground plant traits across the world: An introduction to a Virtual Issue.New Phytologist 231: 2097 – 2103.

McCormack et al. 2017. Viewpoints: Building a better foundation: Improving root-trait measurements to understand and model plant and ecosystem processes. New Phytologist 215: 27-37.

McCormack, Powell, Iversen. 2018. Better plant data at the root of ecosystem models. Eos 99.

McCormack and Iversen. 2019. Physical and functional constraints on viable belowground acquisition strategies. Frontiers in Plant Science 10: 1215.
Related Publications.
The FRED team is part of a global community of root researchers, including sROOT publishing on topics from global root traits to root trait handbooks. Further, FRED has been used by many researchers to answer their own research questions. See more here.

Bergman J et al. 2020. The fungal collaboration gradient dominates the root economics space in plantsScience Advances 6: eaba3756.

Guerrero-Ramirez et al. 2021. Global Root Traits (GRooT) Database. Global Ecology and Biogeography 30: 25 – 37.

Freschet et al. 2021. A starting guide to root ecology: strengthening ecological concepts and standardizing root classification, sampling, processing and trait measurements. New Phytologist 232: 973 – 1122.

Freschet et al. 2021. Root traits as drivers of plant and ecosystem functioning: current understanding, pitfalls and future research needs. New Phytologist 232: 1123 – 1158.

Freschet et al. 2017. Climate, soil and plant functional types as drivers of global fine-root trait variation. Journal of Ecology 105: 1182-1196.

Gallagher et al. 2020. Open Science principles for accelerating trait-based science across the Tree of Life Nature Ecology & Evolution 4: 292-303.

Kattge et al. 2020. TRY plant trait database – enhanced coverage and open access. Global Change Biology 26: 119 – 188.

Koven et al. 2016. Expanding the use of plant trait observations and ecological theory in Earth system models: DOE Workshop Report. A summary report from the Terrestrial Ecosystem Science (TES) and Earth System Modeling (ESM) Workshop on Trait Methods for Representing Ecosystem Change; Rockville, MD, 18-19 November 2015. Report Date: May 31, 2016.

Kueppers et al. 2016. Expanding the use of plant trait observations in Earth system models. Eos 97.

Laughlin et al. 2021. Root traits explain plant species distributions along climatic gradients yet challenge the nature of ecological trade-offs. Nature Ecology & Evolution 5: 1123 – 1134.

Malhotra et al. 2018. The fate of root carbon in soil: harmonizing root and soil data from across the globe. Eos 99.

Malhotra et al. 2019. The landscape of soil carbon data: emerging questions, synergies and databases. Progress in Physical Geography,

McCormack et al. 2016. Moving forward with fine-root definitions and researchNew Phytologist 212: 313.

McCormack et al. 2015. Redefining fine roots improves understanding of below-ground contributions to terrestrial biosphere processes (Tansley Review)New Phytologist 207: 505-518.

Norby and Iversen. 2017. Introduction to a Virtual Issue on root traitsNew Phytologist 215: 5-8.

Song et al. 2017. Significant inconsistency of vegetation carbon density in CMIP5 Earth System Models against observational data. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences 122: 2282-2297.

Warren et al. 2015. Root structural and functional dynamics in terrestrial biosphere models – Evaluation and recommendations (Tansley Review)New Phytologist 205: 59-78.

Weigelt et al. 2021. An integrated framework of plant form and function: The belowground perspective. New Phytologist 232: 42 – 59.

Wang et al. 2015. A scientific function test framework for modular environmental model development: Application to the Community Land Model. 1st IEEE/ACM International Workshop on Software Engineering for High Performance Computing in Science, Florence, Italy, May 2015, pp. 16-23.

Xu et al. 2017. Building a virtual ecosystem dynamic model for root researchEnvironmental Modelling & Software 89: 97-105.

Zhu et al. 2020.  Assessing impacts of plant stoichiometric traits on terrestrial ecosystem carbon accumulation using the E3SM land model. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 12: e2019MS001841.
Data Sets.
Iversen CM, McCormack ML, Baer JK, Powell AS, Chen W, Collins C, Fan Y, Fanin N, Freschet GT, Guo D, Hogan JA, Kou L, Laughlin DC, Lavely E, Liese R, Lin D, Meier IC, Montagnoli A, Roumet C, See CR, Soper F, Terzaghi M, Valverde-Barrantes OJ, Wang C, Wright SJ, Wurzburger N, Zadworny M. 2021. Fine-Root Ecology Database (FRED): A Global Collection of Root Trait Data with Coincident Site, Vegetation, Edaphic, and Climatic Data, Version 3. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TES SFA, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A.

Iversen et al. 2018. Fine-Root Ecology Database (FRED): A global collection of root trait data with coincident site, vegetation, edaphic, and climatic data, Version 2. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TES SFA, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A.

Iversen et al. 2016. Fine-Root Ecology Database (FRED): A Global Collection of Root Trait Data with Coincident Site, Vegetation, Edaphic, and Climatic Data, Version 1. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A.
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