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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Vol. 8 • No. 4