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Journal Article

The Carrying Capacity Dilemma: An Alternate Approach

Brian Hayden
Memoirs of the Society for American Archaeology
No. 30, Population Studies in Archaeology and Biological Anthropology: A Symposium (1975), pp. 11-21
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25146728
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Carrying Capacity Dilemma: An Alternate Approach
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Abstract

The practical problems involved in measuring and using "carrying capacity" have proven the concept to be deficient in theory, unrealistic in implementation, and impossible to measure. The concept should be abandoned or modified. It is suggested that the actual rates of morbidity and mortality due to resource deficiency and starvation are easier to measure and more accurately reflect the types of information which "carrying capacity" was meant to encompass. These measures can also accommodate the cyclical nature of resource availability which has rendered carrying capacity useless as a working concept. Emphasis is placed on "efficiency" of population maintenance at given levels.

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