Carrying capacity

  • carrying capacity
  • The carrying capacity of a biological species in an environment is the maximum population size of the species that the environment can sustain indefinitely, given the food, habitat, water, and other necessities available in the environment.
Abstract from DBPedia
    The carrying capacity of an environment is the maximum population size of a biological species that can be sustained by that specific environment, given the food, habitat, water, and other resources available. The carrying capacity is defined as the environment's maximal load, which in population ecology corresponds to the population equilibrium, when the number of deaths in a population equals the number of births (as well as immigration and emigration). The effect of carrying capacity on population dynamics is modelled with a logistic function. Carrying capacity is applied to the maximum population an environment can support in ecology, agriculture and fisheries. The term carrying capacity has been applied to a few different processes in the past before finally being applied to population limits in the 1950s. The notion of carrying capacity for humans is covered by the notion of sustainable population. At the global scale, scientific data indicates that humans are living beyond the carrying capacity of planet Earth and that this cannot continue indefinitely. This scientific evidence comes from many sources. It was presented in detail in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment of 2005, a collaborative effort involving more than 1,360 experts worldwide. More recent, detailed accounts are provided by ecological footprint accounting, and interdisciplinary research on planetary boundaries to safe human use of the biosphere. The Sixth Assessment Report on Climate Change from the IPCC and the First Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services by the IPBES, large international summaries of the state of scientific knowledge regarding climate disruption and biodiversity loss, also support this view. An early detailed examination of global limits was published in the 1972 book Limits to Growth, which has prompted follow-up commentary and analysis. A 2012 review in Nature by 22 international researchers expressed concerns that the Earth may be "approaching a state shift" in which the biosphere may become less hospitable to human life and in which human carrying capacity may diminish. This concern that humanity may be passing beyond "tipping points" for safe use of the biosphere has increased in subsequent years. Recent estimates of Earth's carrying capacity run between two to four billion people, deepening on how optimistic researchers are about international cooperation to solve wicked collective action problems. These estimates affirm that more people we seek to sustain, the more modest their average standard of living needs to be.

    環境収容力(かんきょうしゅうようりょく、英: Carrying capacity)とは、ある環境において、そこに継続的に存在できる生物の最大量。特定の生物群集の密度()が飽和に達したときの個体数である。通常は、特定のタクソンに属す生物に限定して、議論・計測される。英語"carrying capacity"は、「積載容量」を意味し、そこから生態学用語として現在の意味で使われるようになった。 環境学用語としては、「環境汚染物質の収容力を指し、その環境を損なうことなく、受け入れることのできる人間の活動または汚染物質の量」として用いられる。環境学用語の意味では、「環境容量」(かんきょうようりょう)との表記や、エコスペースの概念も用いられる。 以下、主に生態学用語の環境収容力について述べる。