Carrying Capacity

The carrying capacity of a biological species in an environment is the maximum population size of the species that the environment can sustain indefinitely, given the food, habitat, water and other necessities available in the environment. In population biology, carrying capacity is defined as the environment's maximal load, which is different from the concept of population equilibrium.

For the human population, more complex variables such as sanitation and medical care are sometimes considered as part of the necessary establishment. As population density increases, birth rate often decreases and death rate typically increases. The difference between the birth rate and the death rate is the "natural increase". The carrying capacity could support a positive natural increase, or could require a negative natural increase. Thus, the carrying capacity is the number of individuals an environment can support without significant negative impacts to the given organism and its environment. Below carrying capacity, populations typically increase, while above, they typically decrease. A factor that keeps population size at equilibrium is known as a regulating factor. Population size decreases above carrying capacity due to a range of factors depending on the species concerned, but can include insufficient space, food supply, or sunlight. The carrying capacity of an environment may vary for different species and may change over time due to a variety of factors, including: food availability, water supply, environmental conditions and living space.

The origins of the term carrying capacity are uncertain with researchers variously stating that it was used "in the context of international shipping" or that it was first used during 19th Century laboratory experiments with micro-organisms. A recent review finds the first use of the term in an 1845 report by the US Secretary of State to the Senate.

Read more about Carrying CapacityExamples, Mathematics, Humans, In Tourism

Other articles related to "carrying capacity, capacity":

Carrying Capacity - In Tourism
... Tourism carrying capacity is a now antiquated approach to managing visitors in protected areas and national parks which evolved out of the fields of range, habitat and wildlife management ...
Tourism Carrying Capacity
... Tourism carrying capacity is a now antiquated approach to managing visitors in protected areas and national parks which evolved out of the fields of range, habitat and wildlife management ... For example, the notion of a carrying capacity assumes the world, such as the social-ecological systems in which protected areas and tourism destinations are situated, are stable ... We know that to implement a carrying capacity on a practical level, assumes a level of control of entries into a destination or protected area not usually found in the real world ...
Kaibab Plateau - Kaibab Deer
... The average carrying capacity of the land was unknown, in part because this concept was not widely used by naturalists at the time ... Years later, Aldo Leopold famously estimated that the capacity had been about 30,000 deer ... The range itself was damaged, and its carrying capacity was greatly reduced ...
Tourism Carrying Capacity - As Part of A Planning System
... The definitions of carrying capacity need to be considered as processes within a planning process for tourism development which involves Setting capacity limits for sustaining tourism activities in an area ... Overall measuring of tourism carrying capacity does not have to lead to a single number, like the number of visitors (http// ... In addition, carrying capacity may contain various limits in respect to the three components (physical-ecological, socio-demographic and political–economic) ...
Tourism Carrying Capacity - Descriptive and Evaluative - Differing Definitions
... First of all, the carrying capacity can be the motivation to attract tourists visit the destination ... parks and protected areas, is subject to the concept of carrying capacity so as to determine the scale of tourist activities which can be sustained at ... developed several arguments developed about the definition of carrying capacity ...

Famous quotes containing the words capacity and/or carrying:

    Forgetting: that is a divine capacity. And whoever aspires to the heights and wants to fly must cast off much that is heavy and make himself light—I call it a divine capacity for lightness.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)

    If you think of learning as a path, you can picture yourself walking beside her rather than either pushing or dragging or carrying her along.
    Polly Berrien Berends (20th century)