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Unit 3

3.4 Carrying Capacity

1 min readapril 29, 2020

Karla Jauregui Sandoval


What is a Population? 

A population is a group of organisms of the same group of species that live in a particular geographic area. Each population needs specific resources due to size, reproduction strategies and survival curves. Their ecosystem provided them with resources for growth however there is a limit to what an ecosystem can provide. 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4e/Exponential_Carrying_Capacity.svg/1024px-Exponential_Carrying_Capacity.svg.png

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

What is a Carrying Capacity?

If ecosystems had an infinite amount of resources, populations would grow exponentially however we do not see this occur because of carrying capacity. A carrying capacity is the maximum population size of the species that the environment can sustain, given the food, habitat, water, sunlight  and other necessities available in the environment. 

Once a population hits a carrying capacity because of limiting resources there is an overshoot in the population number and many die offs. There are two types of ways to graph population growth - exponential and logistic growth.

🎥 Watch Jenni MacLean review this key topic here.

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