biotic potential

noun
the capacity of a population of organisms to increase in numbers under optimum environmental conditions.

Origin:
1930–35

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
biotic potential  
The maximum capacity of an individual or population to reproduce under optimal environmental conditions. Populations rarely reproduce at their biotic potential because of limiting factors such as disease, predation, and restricted food resources.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

biotic potential

the maximum reproductive capacity of an organism under optimum environmental conditions. It is often expressed as a proportional or percentage increase per year, as in the statement "The human population increased by 3 percent last year." It can also be expressed as the time it takes for a population to double in size (doubling time). In disease-related studies it is comparable to the "force of infection," the number of susceptible individuals each infected individual further infects.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Reference conditions are a representation of the biotic potential for lakes in the absence of human activity or pollution.
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