Carrying Capacity

Carrying Capacity

The maximum number of individuals of a population that its environment can support and sustain is called the carrying capacity (K). The concept of carrying capacity or the ultimate limit of tolerance has been in use for some time in engineering designs, particularly those relating to materials subject to loads. Every material has a limit of load that it can bear, which if exceeded, it fails or breaks. To ensure a cushion, a safe limit, lower than the maximum load, is taken as the ultimate one or tolerance or bearing capacity. In respect of productive potential of land, this concept has been used to indicate the number of cattle or cattle equivalent of other livestock that it can sustain throughout the year on one hectare of range or pasture land. The simplistic diagram on logarithmic scale for periods of one year to one million yearn More 2000 AD attempts to reconstruct the growth of world population that lived on earth from the period when man used technique of hunting-gathering, to farm mechanization and then to application of fertilizers. It is apparent from the figure that population increased with advancement in the technique for obtaining food, i.e, population has increased with the increase in food production. In other words the spurts in the curve correspond to innovations, which result in an increase in the carrying capacity of the system.

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