Current public debates about the environment often assume a clear relationship between resource availability and population growth: more people mean fewer resources. Over the past three decades, scholars in the social and natural sciences have disassembled the notion of carrying capacity to demonstrate that relationships between humans and their ecosystems are more open, fluid, and complex than the concept allows. Despite scholarly recognition of the problems with carrying capacity, the term, and its underlying logic, endures. By reframing the concept as a folk model, we continue to highlight ecological relationships and advance arguments for conservation, but also acknowledge the complexity of human-environment links which formal applications of carrying capacity ignore.
|Published - 2001
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Sociology and Political Science