What is the relationship between carrying capacity and limiting factors

How are carrying capacity and limiting factors related? | Socratic

what is the relationship between carrying capacity and limiting factors

Factors that will determine carrying capacity include amount of water available in the environment, geographic size of environment, energy. At carrying capacity, because population size is approximately constant, With a positive relationship, these limiting factors increase with the size of the. The carrying capacity is the overall frequency that habitat can sustain, which is inhibited by the limiting factor.

For instance, as populations become ev- er larger and increasingly crowded, increasing competition occurs between individuals within a species and between multiple species so that the presence of competitors acts as still another reg- ulatory mechanism.

As an example, among birds there may be competition for a limited number of nesting sites, while multiple populations of barnacles, sponges, and marine tunicates may com- pete for limited attachment sites on a pier-piling or offshore rocks. As still another example, ever-larger and densely-crowded populations can constitute an invita- tion to sanitation problems and an increased likelihood of transmission of epidemic disease e.

Interestingly, crowding can even induce internal limiting factors such as hormonal, adrenal, and physiological stresses. Some studies of crowded populations, for example, have re- ported increases in aggression and infant mortality, as well as hormonal and physiological stress responses.

Some early studies, for instance, found that crowded rabbit populations exhibit a shock disease Still Another Limiting Factor - A Limited Capacity to Accept Wastes It is intuitively obvious to mostst of us that the carrying capacity capacity of a particular environment can be limited by the amount of food and other resources that a population requires, or by other factors such as those hose we have already discussed.

However, carrying capacities can also o be limited by the ability of an environment to accept and process the WASTES of a given population. EMPTY Unfortunately, however, our own species does not confine itself to releasing only our biological, cellular, and metabolic wastes into our surroundings. Thus, on an increasingly-crowded fifty-passenger bus, that restroom at the back of the bus is easy to overlook until even minor crowding begins to take place.

Serious Science: Biological Carrying Capacity

Even though the transmission, axles, seating, brakes, and engine might be stressed by ninety passengers, for example, those systems might manage to struggle onward under the load. That restroom, however, might not respond so well. Assuming a long trip, one can imagine overwhelming its capacity by the presence of as few as sixty or seventy passengers. Upon reflection, we can see that this scenario might apply to earth, for if we assess the collective impacts that we have right now, with a population in excess of 7.

Food and other resource shortages may be out there on the horizon as looming problems, but earth's ability to accept, recycle, cleanse, and dissipate our avalanches of societal and industrial wastes such as CO2 appears to be stressed already.

Still others, such as Raven and John- sonremind us that "the world ecosystem is already under considerable stress. Even as a waste [pollution] dis- posal site, the world is finite" Our point is this: Although it is quite appropriate to consider finite supplies of food, water, and critical resources as factors that limit a species to some ultimate population size, we are guilty of error if we allow such topics to be our only focus of our concern. On a passenger bus, for exam- ple, it is easy to recognize a finite supply of available seating as a limiting factor that affects the vehicle's ultimate capacity.

But if we were to actually crowd additional passengers onto such a bus, while the seating might become more crowded and increasingly uncomfortable, the vehicle might still lumber forward, even with a load of ninety or more. A neglected limiting factor: Each ecosystem has an ability to maintain itself and to resist or heal physical damage, but these capabilities have limits. If plants and other autotrophs living in a lake or pond are nourished with abundant nutrients e.

The problem is, dissolved oxygen levels in the water are limited. Each night at dusk, even though photosynthetic production of oxygen ceases, the crowded and over-abundant populations living in the pond con- tinue consuming the limited supply of O2 all night long. In these events, then, we see calamitous changes that result from too many organisms drawing on a limited resource. Instead, in this instance, extra nutrients actually serve to fuel the growth that leads to depletion of the O2 that ends in collapse.

Damage to the physical environment can also be inflicted by vertebrate animals like ourselves. We see, for example, that when elephants are confined to small areas, they destroy the very trees and vegetation needed for sustenance. In the same way, when predator populations were reduced near the Grand Canyon in the early s, local deer populations exploded, and began to con- sume " Nearly everywhere we look and nearly everywhere we travel, we see evidence that our own species is inflicting physical and chemical damage to earth's ecosystems and to our biospheric, climatic, and biological environments.

An extraordinarily-dangerous misperception n As noted earlier, when discussing or contemplating population limits, we are easily and too often tempted to imagine that a growing population may eventually "run out of space. The term "space," for example, technically refers to a mathematical area or volume, so that the resulting problem then, is this: The term carrying capacity does not refer to the sheer number of individuals whose bodies can physically-squeeze into a given area or volume.

ALMOST Next then, let us for imagine, as a thought experiment, that the population ulation represented by the tiny white dot in the illustration happens appens to be a sentient species and that, at the point in time depicted above some members of its scientific communi communityty begin to issue warnings concerning carrying ca-ca pacity, overpopulation, overshoot, and population limits, together with wastes and eradications in finite systems.

In fact, however, as aALL THREEa classical, separate, independent, and quintessential real-world climb-and-collapse calamities and die-offs that have been cited here show quite powerfully, if the scholars and leaders of such sentient populations were to WAIT until the conditions depicted in the image appear, they will have already waited TOO LONG for the image denotes, in a proportionally-correct way for all three examples, the moments in time when the populations have peaked and the onsets of collapse and die-offs have already begun.

Harmful Algal Blooms IN: Journal of Wildlife Management Three classical examples of calamitous population-environment thresholds in real- world systems. Beyond the data already cited, for instance, and the points already made, imagine a national park in Africa and its carrying capacity for lions.

What is the relationship between carrying capacity and population size? | Socratic

Although the enormous measured areas of a large reserve might allow us to physically squeeze hundreds of thousands or even millions of lions into such a park, to sustain even small numbers of lions, first there must be vast game herds with populations large enough to allow a harvestable surplus of zebra and wildebeest and similar grazers.

Secondly, these vast game herds, in turn, require still greater expansess of grasslands tto sustain their grazing and seasonal migrations, together with adequate supplies of water. As a result, hun- dreds of square kilometers of "open-space" are required to support even a small population of lions.

Thus, to erroneously imagine that millions of lions might occupy a reserve simply because its mathematical dimensions could physically accommodate their bodies constitutes a gross mis- representation of ecological, biological, and biospheric reality.

It is clear, of course, that attachment sites for marine invertebrates such as sponges and bryozoans might, in one sense, be considered "space-limited" resources. And, to establish nature reserves for conservation purposes, expansive quantities of "space" are essential if viable populations are to persist.

what is the relationship between carrying capacity and limiting factors

Soule, for instance, observes that even the largest nature reserves and national parks today " Consequently, the sheer physical dimensions area or volume of available space, while necessary, incorporates ootherr more-immediate limiting factors that operate and exert their influences within that space sooner. A growing yeast population, for in- stance, can poison its grape juice environment with ethanol even when the combined yeast cells themselves physically-occupy a vvolumetrically-insignificantv portion of the bottle or vat in which they reside.

Likewise, the occupants of a eutrophic over-fertilized water body can induce lake-wide ANOXIC conditions a lethal depletion of dissolved oxygen even though the actual volume that is physic- ally-occupied by their bodies and cells constitutes an insignificant proportion of the total volume available.

Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors in Population Systems | Randolph Femmer - az-links.info

Upon reflection, however, and as many of our PowerPoints and PDFs also show, such statements omit enough key considerations that they render themselves invalid.

To show the fallacious nature of such comments, for instance, we might simply offer a modified version as follows: Suppose someone suggests that, mathematically speaking, we could physic- ally squeeze all of earth's wildlife populations shoulder to shoulder into a geographic area "X" that is, for argument's sake, the size of Minnesota.

Imagine, then, squeezing every chimpanzee, elephant, buffalo, bird, mountain lion, squirrel, gir- affe, orangutan, musk oxen, harbor seal, tarantula, manatee, cow, komodo dragon, tiger, whale, butterfly, parakeet, boa constrictor, ostrich, kangaroo, marlin, sailfish, sea urchin, jellyfish, and rhinoceros shoulder to shoulder into an area the size of Minnesota.

Even if this could somehow be done in a grotesquely physical sense, it would be ridiculous to imagine it to have any re- lationship whatsoever with real-world systems. First of all, such a scenario leaves no room for the woodlands and forests, or the waters, rivers, streams, grains, food, expansive grasslands, intertidal zones, and specialized habitat niches need- ed to support viable, self-sustaining, interacting, and self-perpetuating populations of such organ- isms.

Secondly, the scenario shows a disingenuous or utterly uneducated view by those offering the supposition in that it omits any consideration or contemplation whatsoever of the environ- mental needs, demands, interactions, damage, destruction, eradications, and waste products that would accompany such an aggregation. And thirdly, the ensuing chaos and carnage resulting from movement, competition, aggression, predator-prey interactions, elimination of wastes, food and resource consumption, and habitat eradication would be unimaginable.

In the same way, assertions that imagine crowding all of humanity shoulder to shoulder into some imagined geographic area "Z" are just as fallacious. Because they ask us to mistakenly presume that the physical "amount of space" constitutes the principle limiting factor affecting our species. To achieve a more realistic appraisal of a carrying capacity, it would be more appropriate to ask how many people can live in Minnesota or on our planet or any other locale on a long-term ba- sis many generations if they must rely solely on the resources and waste-cleansing capacity of that environment alone.

The Global Dashboard A passenger bus, airplane, or space vehicle has warning lamps on its dashboard that light up to indicate trouble. On earth today, we already see a disconcerting number of warning lights begin- ning to light up the global dashboard.

Examples of these include accelerating emissions of green- house gases, disappearing wilderness, massive deforestation in the tropics, melting permafrost, acid precipitation, collapsing fisheries, falling water tables, desertification, disappearing polar ice, ozone depletion, expanding dead zones in the seas, and an imminent mass extinction that may be- come the greatest biological disaster since the disappearance of the dinosaurs.

Our planet already began to show such signs of stress by with a world population of five bil- lion, and these many signs of stress have grown even greater with the arrivals of our sixth billion in and our seventh billion in and now we add approximately seven million more each and every month after PRB, Even if our population were to magically stabilize later to- day and were to not grow at all thereafter, what will happen when that portion of humanity who are not yet industrialized attempt to emulate developed and industrialized standards of living?

And what will happen as we add sstill moree impacts, eradications, damage, and wastes as we add billions numbers 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and How long can earth's biological, climatic, waste-cleansing, and environmental machinery survive the growing, accumulating, and ever-widening impacts of our explosively-growing numbers?

We don't know the exact answers to these questions yet, but children now living are likely to find out. Other Passengers We are not alone on our global vehicle, for other species occupy much of the available seating. Today, however, with billions of additional human passengers endlessly boarding, these other sp- ecies are being displaced at an unrelenting and accelerating rate. By mid-century, for example, " On its page nine, the UNEP report offered still an- other disquieting assessment: One lesson here is that the einformational lag-time alonee makes it virtually impossible for even politicians and citizens who are honest and concerned and powerful enough financially and politically to act or intervene in time to halt or prevent the obliteration.

Thus, if our own species suffers because of our own actions or inactions or our use of diesel fuel, margarine, and lipstickthat suffering will be self-inflicted. But what about all the other pas- sengers aboard our global bus? Do other species have a right to exist? Is it our right to drive them to extinction? Or does there exist a moral imperative to preserve our biotic inheritance and the fabric of life on earth?

At the edge of a forest, we see vines that compete with trees for sunlight. In the backyards of our homes, we see squirrels that compete with birds for birdseeds. In Africa, hyenas compete with lions for a carcass. And similar instances of competition exist throughout the natural world.

what is the relationship between carrying capacity and limiting factors

To- day, however, hhumans compete with wildlife for wildernesss. And in such a competition, wild- life and wilderness stand no chance.

How are carrying capacity and limiting factors related?

Today, a hungry, poor, and rapacious humanity — along with the economic engines of our weal- thiest societies — lays waste to the natural world at a rate unparalleled in human history. Which, if any, species will survive the holocaust that is now underway?

What portion of earth's biota will we drive to extinction in the years just ahead? In closing What happens when a population overshoots the carrying capacity of its environment? What evi- dence will we see when such overshoot has occurred or is occurring? Might humanity be in an overshoot mode already — right now? What happens to other species when they ov- ershoot the carrying capacity of their environments?

To what extent have our advances in medi- cine, life-extension, public health, and antibiotics suppressed the pathogenic microbes that consti- tute our chief predators from their role in regulating our populations? Is our species currently un- dergoing a population phenomenon known as ecological release? What price is to be paid if we continue on our present course? How far can we push natural systems before they break? How many people can the earth support?

At what standard of living? How many should it support?

Explain the relationship between carrying capacity and limiting factors.?

Do other species have a right to exist or should all of earth's resources be used to support humans alone? Do future generations have any rights to resources and raw materials? Or is it the right of generations now living to consume all such materials entirely and leave the poisonous wastes for someone else to clean up later? Do future generations have a right to inherit an intact planet with functioning ecosystems and the biodiversity that we inherited when we arrived?

Or is it the right of those of us now living or of our economic and corporate entities to consume, pollute, and destroy to the maximum ex- tent possible?

Only a finite amount of these resources exist. Space and territory habitat are examples of non-renewable resources. The number of living organisms an ecosystem is able to support is directly related to the amount of renewable and non-renewable resources present in the ecosystem. Under natural conditions, most populations will stabilize at a level known as the carrying capacity of the ecosystem.

The carrying capacity is the maximum number of organisms that an ecosystem can support on a continued basis. In most cases, an ecosystem's carrying capacity is determined by the availability of resources such as space, nutrients, water and light. Interactions between species or between members of the same species often determine who will be successful in obtaining resources and who will survive.

Such types of interactions include competition and predator-prey relationships. Competition occurs when two individuals or species both attempt to utilize a resource such as food or space that is limited relative to the demand for it. Predator-prey relationships occur when one organism the predator kills and eats another living organism the prey.

what is the relationship between carrying capacity and limiting factors

In predator-prey relationships, one organism is the resource! Once all members of a prey species are gone the predator will have to look for alternative sources of food for energy.