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For processing and/or simulating species assemblage data.

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SimAssem is a tool for investigating the performances of species richness estimators across widely ranging assemblages and survey designs. Assemblages are simulated by specifying the: 1) number of species, 2) total abundance of individuals, 3) abundance distribution, 4) spatial configuration, 5) species detection probabilities, 6) survey design, and 7) number of grid cells to survey (out of a square grid comprised of 10,000 cells). SimAssem also processes existing encounter data and formats existing and simulated encounter data for other programs. SimAssem, along with the open source code, will hopefully give researchers and managers a tool for assessing the development of new estimators and evaluating potential decisions in a simulated environment. More information on SimAssem is given in Chapter 2, 'SimAssem: a program for simulating species assemblages and estimating species richness', in the dissertation 'Simulating species assemblages and evaluating species richness estimators'.

SimAssem Web Site


  • GUI for intuitive data processing and simulation (Visual Basic 6.0)
  • Import functions for existing encounter history data
  • Simulation of new encounter history data and field surveys
  • Options to vary assemblage and survey properties
  • Control over the number of iterations for numerous processes
  • Display of assemblage estimates and visualization of simulated spatial configuration
  • Estimates of species richness and associated variance with new and known estimators
  • Calculation of the degree of spatial aggregation and evenness of abundances
  • Estimates of the additional surveying effort needed to encounter a specified proportion of estimated species richness
  • Computes data for accumulation curves at user-specified survey sizes
  • Several export options that format data for other programs
  • Dialogue with R statistical software (including spatstat package)
  • Free and Open Source Software


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Additional Project Details

Intended Audience

Science/Research, Education, Developers

User Interface

Win32 (MS Windows)

Programming Language

Visual Basic, S/R



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