Growth of the body, exclusive of gametes.
Somatic Growth Rates-Implications for EvolutionEdit
Somatic growth rates can have important fitness consequences, be heritable, and evolve (Caley & Schwarzkopf, 2004). Biologists study somatic growth rates closely because of the relationship between growth and other fitness-determing traits. Additionally, it results from both genetic and environmentally induced variation (Gale et.al, 2013).
Caley, M., & Schwarzkopf, L. (2004). Complex growth rate evolution in a latitudinally widespread species. Evolution, 58(4), 862-869.
Gale, B., Johnson, J., Schaalje, G., & Belk, M. (n.d). Effects of predation environment and food availability on somatic growth in the Livebearing Fish Brachyrhaphis rhabdophora (Pisces: Poeciliidae).Ecology And Evolution, 3(2), 326-333