Publications

Biased-corrected richness estimates for the Amazonian tree flora

Steege, Hans ter; Prado, Paulo I.; Lima, Renato A.F. de; Pos, Edwin; Souza Coelho, Luiz de; Andrade Lima Filho, Diogenes de; Salomão, Rafael P.; Amaral, Iêda Leão; Almeida Matos, Francisca Dionízia de; Castilho, Carolina V.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Guevara, Juan Ernesto; Jesus Veiga Carim, Marcelo de; Cárdenas López, Dairon; Magnusson, William E.; Wittmann, Florian; Martins, Maria Pires; Sabatier, Daniel; Irume, Mariana Victória; Silva Guimarães, José Renan da; Molino, Jean François; Bánki, Olaf S.; Piedade, Maria Teresa Fernandez; Pitman, Nigel C.A.; Ramos, José Ferreira; Monteagudo Mendoza, Abel; Venticinque, Eduardo Martins; Luize, Bruno Garcia; Núñez Vargas, Percy; Silva, Thiago Sanna Freire; Leão Novo, Evlyn Márcia Moraes de; Reis, Neidiane Farias Costa; Terborgh, John; Manzatto, Angelo Gilberto; Casula, Katia Regina; Honorio Coronado, Euridice N.; Montero, Juan Carlos; Duque, Alvaro; Costa, Flávia R.C.; Castaño Arboleda, Nicolás; Schöngart, Jochen; Zartman, Charles Eugene; Killeen, Timothy J.; Marimon, Beatriz S.; Marimon-Junior, Ben Hur; Vasquez, Rodolfo; Mostacedo, Bonifacio; Demarchi, Layon O.; Feldpausch, Ted R.; Engel, Julien; Petronelli, Pascal; Baraloto, Chris; Assis, Rafael L.; Castellanos, Hernán; Simon, Marcelo Fragomeni; Medeiros, Marcelo Brilhante de; Quaresma, Adriano; Laurance, Susan G.W.; Rincón, Lorena M.; Andrade, Ana; Sousa, Thaiane R.; Camargo, José Luís; Schietti, Juliana; Laurance, William F.; Queiroz, Helder Lima de; Nascimento, Henrique Eduardo Mendonça; Lopes, Maria Aparecida; Sousa Farias, Emanuelle de; Magalhães, José Leonardo Lima; Brienen, Roel; Aymard C, Gerardo A.; Revilla, Juan David Cardenas; Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães; Cintra, Bruno Barçante Ladvocat; Stevenson, Pablo R.; Feitosa, Yuri Oliveira; Duivenvoorden, Joost F.; Mogollón, Hugo F.; Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro; Ferreira, Leandro Valle; Lozada, José Rafael; Comiskey, James A.; Toledo, José Julio de; Damasco, Gabriel; Dávila, Nállarett; Lopes, Aline; García-Villacorta, Roosevelt; Draper, Freddie; Vicentini, Alberto; Cornejo Valverde, Fernando; Lloyd, Jon; Gomes, Vitor H.F.; Neill, David; Alonso, Alfonso; Dallmeier, Francisco; Souza, Fernanda Coelho de; Maas, Paul; Baker, Tim R.; Andel, Tinde R. van; Noronha, Janaína Costa; Barbosa, Edelcilio Marques; Malhi, Yadvinder; Tirado, Milton; Wang, Ophelia; Nascimento, Marcelo Trindade; Flores, Bernardo Monteiro

Summary

Amazonian forests are extraordinarily diverse, but the estimated species richness is very much debated. Here, we apply an ensemble of parametric estimators and a novel technique that includes conspecific spatial aggregation to an extended database of forest plots with up-to-date taxonomy. We show that the species abundance distribution of Amazonia is best approximated by a logseries with aggregated individuals, where aggregation increases with rarity. By averaging several methods to estimate total richness, we confirm that over 15,000 tree species are expected to occur in Amazonia. We also show that using ten times the number of plots would result in an increase to just ~50% of those 15,000 estimated species. To get a more complete sample of all tree species, rigorous field campaigns may be needed but the number of trees in Amazonia will remain an estimate for years to come.