Physiological Tradeoffs

Deciding whether to invest energy into reproduction or growth is not the only tradeoff that fish face in their energy allocation. Under some circumstances, for example, under heavy size-selective predation, fish might increase their survival more by growing out of the size window of predation than by maintaining investments in the immune system. Fish can thus be thought of as taking a calculated risk by lowering their immune responses in order to grow faster, and although this increases the risk of infections, it may increase overall survival on a longer timescale. Similar physiologically driven tradeoffs exist for example between escapement capability and growth rate.

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