EstimateS turns 20: statistical estimation of species richness and shared species from samples, with non-parametric extrapolation


R. K. Colwell, Dept of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Univ. of Connecticut, 75 N. Eagleville Rd., Storrs, CT 06268, USA, and Univ. of Colorado Museum of Natural History, Boulder, CO 80309, USA. E-mail:


EstimateS offers statistical tools for analyzing and comparing the diversity and composition of species assemblages, based on sampling data. The latest version computes a wide range of biodiversity statistics for both sample-based and individual-based data, including analytical rarefaction and non-parametric extrapolation, estimators of asymptotic species richness, diversity indices, Hill numbers, and (for sample-based data) measures of compositional similarity among assemblages. In the first 20 yr of its existence, EstimateS has been downloaded more than 70 000 times by users in 140 countries, who have cited it in 5000 publications in studies of taxa from microbes to mammals in every biome.