Compensatory Growth

Food distribution in the wild is not only spatially but is also temporally patchy. As a consequence, fish might experience periods of low food availability and even starvation. When food availability reverts to normal levels, fish can exhibit faster growth rates than they would during steady resource conditions. In this way, individual fish are capable of restoring their original growth trajectories. This phenomenon is termed compensatory growth (note that density-dependent growth introduced in the previous paragraph has also been called compensatory growth by some authors). The advantages for such compensatory growth are speculated to be related to size-dependent mortality and fecundity, size-specific feeding competition, and food availability.

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