Lesson 5: Limiting Factors and Carrying Capacity

1.  Words of the day

Limiting factor:  Abiotic and biotic factors that stop a population from growing.  Example:  Not enough Food.

Carrying capacity:  The maximum number of individuals that an area of land can support.

Sustained:   To keep or keep going

2.  populationsslides

3.  Today’s Lesson Links

Rabbits and wolves

Notebook p. 14 Rabbits_and_Wolves_Exploration_Questions__doc_

Notebook p. 15 C-Notes Population dynamics (populationsslides)

4.  Big Idea

An ecosystem can only keep or sustain a certain level of population.  This is called carrying capacity.  If the population goes above the carrying capacity the environment would be degraded and the population would go down until the resources return.  Once the resources return then the population will go back up.  Populations in a stable ecosystem will continually go up and down, the carrying capacity is found in the middle of this up and down pattern.

The carrying capacity is determined by many limiting factors, both abiotic and biotic.  Limiting factors can include:  number of predators, amount of rain, temperature, amount of food, and disease.

There is a close relationship between the predator and prey’s population in an ecosystem. When the predator population goes up the prey population goes down. When the prey population goes up the predator population goes down.


5.  Learn more

Algebra and Carrying Capacity

Density Dependent and Density Independent Factors


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