Carrying Capacity:

Carrying capacity is a property of an ecosystem.To be specific, it is the maximum population that the given ecosystem can provide resources for.Once an ecosystem’s population has surpassed its carrying capacity, the environment starts to wear down and the resources become exhausted.

The image below is an excellent example of an animal habitat’s carrying capacity.It uses a bucket being filled to illustrate its point.The bucket represents the maximum carrying capacity of the habitat.The hose filling the bucket represents population growth, and the runoff represents the over-population that begins to exhaust the habitats resources.The bucket also has holes in the sides of it.These holes represent reductions in the population due to natural and un-natural factors.Note that the hose fills the bucket faster than the holes can empty it.Therefore, we say that this environment is past its carrying capacity.

carrying_capacity_bucket.gif


Below is a video interview with Doctor Garrett Hardin, an ecologist, author, and environmental activist.In the video, Dr. Hardin speaks on the topics of overpopulation and carrying capacity in their relation to quality of life and wealth, as well as the well being of the earth.






Resources

Carrying Capacity.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrying_capacity
6/5/08.

11.4 Carrying Capacity.
http://www.hunter-ed.com/wa/course/11-4_carrying_capacity.htm
6/5/08.

Human 4832. "Garret Hardin on Overpopulation and Carrying Capacity."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyD4xRQo05s
6/5/08.

Created By: scherger-rundle



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