I have traditionally thought of and heard about life-history traits (e.g., size at first reproduction, number of offspring, size of offspring, survival, etc., etc.) as drawing from a finite pool of resources that an organism has, and therefore exhibiting tradeoffs. So, for instance, an organism that invests in a lot of offspring would experience a decreased probability of survival.
It has recently come to my attention that this is not always the case, and I'm not sure why. I have been directed to the work of David Houle, who wrote extensively on the topic of life-history traits, but some of his work is inaccessible to me intellectually. I was hoping that somebody had a more digestible explanation or was maybe more familiar with Houle's work.