Community Ecology

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 119–127 | Cite as

Multi-stage cluster sampling for estimating average species richness at different spatial grains

  • F. Baffetta
  • G. BacaroEmail author
  • L. Fattorini
  • D. Rocchini
  • A. Chiarucci


A multi-stage cluster sampling is proposed for quantifying and monitoring plant species richness at multiple spatial grains over large spatial extents. An unbiased estimator of average species richness at different grains and a conservative estimator of its sampling variance are obtained in a complete design-based framework, i.e., avoiding any assumption about the ecological community under study. An application to the Nature Reserve “Lago di Montepulciano” demonstrates that the proposed strategy may accomplish practical advantages and quite satisfactory levels of accuracy.


Biodiversity monitoring Design-based inference Horvitz-Thompson estimation Variance estimation 









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© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2007

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Baffetta
    • 1
  • G. Bacaro
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • L. Fattorini
    • 1
  • D. Rocchini
    • 2
    • 3
  • A. Chiarucci
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Metodi QuantitativiUniversità di SienaSienaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali “G. Sarfatti”Università di SienaSienaItaly
  3. 3.TerraData s.r.l. environmetricsSienaItaly

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