From MarineSpecies Traits Wiki
1. Maximum population size expressed as total number of individuals, biomass, or population density that a given unit of habitat can support indefinitely without deterioration of the character and quality of the resource;
2. The level of use, at a given level of management, at which a natural or man-made resource can sustain itself over a long period of time.
The concept of carrying capacity incorporates:
- physical space,
- food and/or nutrient availability,
- waste removal/recycling,
- mortality factors,
- time or temporal factors,
- other factors.
Examples of carrying capacity:
- The amount of a given activity that can be accommodated within the environmental capacity of a defined area (FAO);
- The maximum level of recreational use, in terms of numbers of people and types of activity, that can be accommodated before the ecological value of the area declines;
- The maximum quantity of fish that any particular body of water can support over a long period without negative effects to the fish and to the environment.