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Which of the following examples best illustrates the concept of carrying capacity?

A A population of deer increases exponentially, but then decreases due to starvation, then increases slightly again.

The carrying capacity is the maximum population that can be sustained in a given area with a given amount of resources. When populations approach the carrying capacity, essential resources like water, food, space, and even mates become limited and organisms must compete more for these scarce resources. Often populations will decline below the carrying capacity when the resources become so scarce that individuals must die to decrease competition and increase the use of current resources.