carrying capacity

noun Ecology.
the maximum, equilibrium number of organisms of a particular species that can be supported indefinitely in a given environment. Abbreviation: K

Origin:
1880–85

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Collins
World English Dictionary
carrying capacity
 
n
ecology the maximum number of individuals that an area of land can support, usually determined by their food requirements

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
carrying capacity   (kār'ē-ĭng)  Pronunciation Key 
The maximum population of a particular organism that a given environment can support without detrimental effects.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

carrying capacity definition


In ecology, the number of living things that can exist for long periods in a given area without damaging the environment.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

carrying capacity

the average population density or population size of a species below which its numbers tend to increase and above which its numbers tend to decrease because of shortages of resources. The carrying capacity is different for each species in a habitat because of that species' particular food, shelter, and social requirements.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
By increasing the carrying capacity of fiber-optic cable, this company may yet
  revolutionize the world's networks.
The carrying capacity of transmission cables depends on how hot they can get.
The main virtue of this alternate means of transportation is that its increased
  cargo carrying capacity.
Particularly in an age of cloud storage, that kind of carrying capacity is more
  of a novelty than it is a necessity.
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