What is an example of a limiting factor that humans use to control the carrying capacity of an environment for a particular type of organism? Explain your answer.

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gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The carrying capacity of an ecosystem can be defined as the maximum number of organisms (or a particular species) that can be indefinitely supported. The carrying capacity includes parameters such as food, space, predation, competition, etc. Human beings can control the carrying capacity of an environment by intervening in any of these parameters. A control on the amount of food available can be achieved by introducing organisms that eat the same food. For examples, deer population can be controlled by introducing cows in the area, as they eat same food (grass) and given that total food is fixed, deer will now have less food availability. Another measure can be introduction of predators. Wolves or tigers can eat deer and control their population. 

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vnessawong21 | Student

The definition of carrying capacity is the maximum amount of organisms a specific area can support infinitely. This capacity is affected by many factors such as food, space, light and water. These factors directly influence the growth of the organisms and their reproductive success rates. For example, in a common ecosystem wolves prey on deer. By killing deer the wolves act as a limiting factor on the deer and vice versa; the amount of deer available as prey act as a limiting factor for wolves. By introducing hunting laws, humans control the carrying capacity of the wolves by hunting deer. The introduction of hunters act as a limiting factor that can control the carrying capacity of wolves in the ecosystem. 

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