FishBase and AUXIM as tools for comparing life-history patterns, growth and natural mortality of fish: applications to snappers and groupers uri icon


  • The FishBase 96 CD-ROM, the computerized encyclopedia of fishes, contains, among other things, 4,434 fully documented sets of growth parameters for 1,115 species, and 170 families of fish. This allows definition of thegrowth patterns typical for various taxa, and the prediction of likely growth parameters in little studied groups, aswell as the identification of outliers in well studied ones. A software tool called AUXIM is presented which, based ongrowth parameters, facilitates definition and quantification of the growth space inhabited by various taxa, here the Lutjanidae (117 cases; 15 spp.) and the Epinephelinae (34 cases; 6 spp.). It is shown that AUXIM and its underlying concept, the growth performance index Phi ', can be used to verify ages and/or growth parameter estimates in species for which previous growth parameter estimates exist, and to infer likely growth parameters in unstudied species. Various predictors of natural mortality (M) in groupers and snappers are examined, and earlier work by S. Ralston is confirmed which suggested that the von Bertalanffy parameter K is a good predictor of M for this very homogenous group of fishes. FishBase graphs on the longevity of lutjanids and the brain size of serranids are finally used to illustrate the power of FishBase for presenting in fishes previously unconnected aspects of their life-history, and morphology, respectively

publication date

  • 2008