I'm coming across an increasing number of papers that use trait-based approaches for risk assessment, like this one . This paper defines a trait as follows:
Traits are the physiological, morphological, and ecological attributes of species or other taxonomic entities, which describe their physical characteristics, ecological niche, and functional role within an ecosystem.
I've wondered about using this sort of approach during some analyses of invasiveness potential in vector insects before and it's likely to come up during a systematic literature review I'm coordinating, but I'm concerned that devising my own trait classification system is likely to introduce confirmation bias into a study. Is there either a recognised methodology for trait definition, or alternatively some sort of accepted list or classification of traits that I could use, to minimise the chances of this? Is there a generally-accepted method to correct for phylogenetic correlation?
I've tried Google but the results mostly appear to be about trait theory, which is an approach used in psychology to study human personality.