Estimating species richness by a Poisson-compound gamma model
We propose a Poisson-compound gamma approach for species richness estimation. Based on the denseness and nesting properties of the gamma mixture, we fix the shape parameter of each gamma component at a unified value, and estimate the mixture using nonparametric maximum likelihood. A least-squares crossvalidation procedure is proposed for the choice of the common shape parameter. The performance of the resulting estimator of N is assessed using numerical studies and genomic data.