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carrying capacity

noun, Ecology
1.
the maximum, equilibrium number of organisms of a particular species that can be supported indefinitely in a given environment.
Abbreviation: K.
Origin
1880-1885
1880-85
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for carrying-capacity

carrying capacity

noun
1.
(ecology) the maximum number of individuals that an area of land can support, usually determined by their food requirements
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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carrying-capacity in Science
carrying capacity
  (kār'ē-ĭng)   
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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carrying-capacity in Culture

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 Article for carrying-capacity

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.

Learn more about carrying capacity with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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