Estimating species richness: still a long way off!


  • Alessandro Chiarucci

    Corresponding author
    • BIOCONNET, BIOdiversity and CONservation NETwork, Department of Environmental Science ‘G. Sarfatti’, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
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Xu et al., in this issue of the Journal of Vegetation Science, compare several species richness estimators. All the non-parametric estimators, such as Chao and jackknife estimators, underestimated the true number, whereas all the area-based models, based on species–area curves, overestimated it. No reliable method yet exists to predict the number of species in an area that is appreciably larger than the one(s) sampled.