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What is an example of carrying capacity?

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Quick Answer

An example of carrying capacity is the number of people that could survive on a remote island after a shipwreck. In order for them to survive, they need to consider the available resources and the amount that each individual consumes.

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Full Answer

Carrying capacity is the maximum size of a population within a particular species that the resources in an area are able to sustain indefinitely without significant degradation or depletion of the resources. Carrying capacity is not static for an area as it may be extended as a result of technological or social advances or reduced as a result of resource degradation, as in the case of people surviving on a remote island after a shipwreck.

The carrying capacity is the number of individuals that survive on the island, which depends on the quantity of resources, such as food and water, available in the ecosystem. In order to live within the carrying capacity, the individuals must consume food and water no faster than the island can replenish the supplies in its natural environment. For example, a large island with an abundance of clean drinking water and soil appropriate for growing crops is able to support a larger carrying capacity than a tiny desert island with no natural resources.

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