Limiting Factors in the Ecosystem


Limiting factors are environmental factors that limit population sizes in a particular ecosystem.

A close-up of a green iguana.
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Food and nutrients are a major limiting factor in ecosystems. If an ecosystem is not able to produce enough food, a percentage of the animals and organisms living in that ecosystem will not survive.

A puffin carries sand eels in its bill.
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Temperature limits the types of organisms and animals that can survive in a particular ecosystem, and can affect their overall numbers.

A herd of hippopotamus bathe and rest in the mud.
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Living organisms require water. If water is limited, the ability of an ecosystem to support life is limited.

A grizzly bear chases a fish in the water.
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Natural resources are a limiting factor for most human populations in ecosystems. If natural resources such as wood for cooking and heat are more limited, a particular ecosystem will be less able to support larger populations of humans.

A man builds the frame of a house.
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Predators limit the growth of some populations. For example, lions limit the growth of gazelle populations by hunting.

A group of gazelles stand still.
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