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An assessment of sample-based estimators of tree species richness in two wet tropical forest compartments in Panama and India

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We assessed the performance of ten incidence-based estimators of tree species richness in simulated simple random sampling with fixed-area plots. Stem diameter-limited tree species and location data came from two species-rich wet tropical forest compartments in Panama and India. Lower limits of stem diameter were 1 cm and 30 cm, respectively. Estimators varied widely in their estimates of richness and their rankings changed frequently across sites and sample designs. A gamma-Poisson estimator was overall best according to a performance score of three accuracy statistics and sample size. However, until corroborated by further studies, Chao's 1981 non-parametric estimator is recommended for forest inventories with fixed-area plots.
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Keywords: mixed-models; plot size; probability of occurrence; sample coverage; sample size; variance estimator

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, 506 West Burnside Rd., Victoria BC V8Z 1M5, Canada.

Publication date: 2006-12-01

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