Early environmental conditions have been suggested to influence subsequent locomotor performance in a range of species, but most measurements have been of initial (baseline) performance. By manipulating early growth trajectories in green swordtail fish, we show that males that underwent compensatory growth as juveniles had a similar baseline swimming endurance when mature adults to ad libitum fed controls. However, they had a reduced capacity to increase endurance with training, which is more likely to relate to Darwinian fitness. Compensatory growth may thus result in important locomotor costs later in life.
Keywords: growth rate, exercise, endurance, resource allocation, swimming performance