Limiting Nutrient

∞ generated and posted on 2016.12.05 ∞

That chemical resource that determines species population size such as at carrying capacity or rate of population growth towards carrying capacity.

A Limiting Nutrient is limiting because not only is there not enough of it but there is enough of everything else that an organism needs to allow faster or greater growth, everything except the limiting nutrient.

Limiting nutrients tend to be one or at best a few possible nutrients required by an organism. Specifically, adjustment of concentrations of limiting nutrients should have the effect of modifying, for example, a population's size, with greater levels allowing population sizes to increase whereas reduced amounts should have the opposite effect.

See also limiting resource and limiting factor.

Common limiting nutrients include bioavailable nitrogen and phosphorus, with, for example, cyanobacterial blooms occurring in aquatic environment following pollution with phosphates.