Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 77, Issue 3–4, pp 293–300 | Cite as

Evidence of two-phase growth in elasmobranchs

  • Miguel ArayaEmail author
  • Luis A. Cubillos


It is often assumed that the von Bertalanffy growth model (VBGM) is appropriate to describe growth in length-at-age of elasmobranchs. However, a review of the literature suggests that a two-phase growth model could better describe growth in elasmobranchs. We compare the two-phase growth model (TPGM) with the VBGM for 18 data sets of elasmobranch species, by fitting the models to 36 age-length-at-age data pairs available. The Akaike Information Criteria (AIC) and the difference in AIC between both models revealed that in 23 cases the probability that the TPGM was true ≥50%. The VBGM tends to estimate larger L values than the two-phase growth model, while the k parameter tends to be underestimated. The growth rate in length-at-age appears tends to decrease near the age at first maturity in several species of elasmobranch. The importance of the TPGM lies in that it may better describe this aspect of the life history of many elasmobranchs. In this context, we conclude that the TPGM should be used along with other growth models in order to precisely estimate elasmobranch life history parameters.


Elasmobranchs von Bertalanffy Two-phase growth Sharks Skates 


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The authors would like to thank Enric Cortés and Terry Walker for commentaries and revision of the manuscript. In addition, we would like to thank the authors who facilitated their information to us to conduct the analyses and to two anonymous referees for reviewing the manuscript. We would particularly like to thank the California Sea Grant for providing funding to travel to the meeting and present the results of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Ciencias del MarUniversidad Arturo PratIquiqueChile
  2. 2.Departamento de Oceanografía, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y OceanográficasUniversidad de ConcepciónConcepciónChile

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