Middle English, from Anglo-French, from maintenir
- Date: 14th century
- 2 : something that maintains
- 3 : the upkeep of property or equipment
- 4 : an officious or unlawful intermeddling in a legal suit by assisting either party with means to carry it on
- Somatic maintenance. This comprises mainly the turnover of structural mass (mainly proteins) and the maintenance of concentration gradients of metabolites across membranes (e.g., counteracting leakage). This is related to maintenance respiration.
- Maturity maintenance. This comprises the maintenance of defense systems (such as the immune system), the preparation of the body for reproduction.
The theory assumes that maturity maintenance costs can be reduced more easily during starvation than somatic maintenance costs. Under extreme starvation conditions, somatic maintenance costs are paid from structural mass, which causes shrinking.Some organisms manage to switch to the turpor state under starvation conditions, and reduce their maintenance costs.