Ecological debt & Carrying Capacity

Ecological debt refers to the consumption of resources from within an ecosystem that exceeds the system’s regenerative capacity. This is the overall depletion of the Global resources beyond the Earth’s ability to regenerate them. The term is closely related to the Carrying Capacity.

  • The concept of Ecological Debt has given rise to observation of Ecological Debt Day.

Carrying Capacity

In context with environment, the Carrying Capacity of a biological species in an environment refers to the population size of the species that the environment can sustain indefinitely, given the food, habitat, water and other necessities available in the environment.

  • The population of this species will increase below carrying capacity and will decrease above carrying capacity.

How does it work?

Usually, the birth rate is higher than the death rate for organisms. This is known as Natural Increase. The carrying capacity is the number of individuals an environment can support without significant negative impacts to the given organism and its environment. When the population grows above the carrying capacity, the population tends to decrease. However, at that point there are regulating factors that keep equilibrium in the population.

  • Carrying capacity of an environment varies for different species is affected by food availability, water supply, environmental conditions and living space.