Biotic Potential

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Related to Biotic Potential: Environmental resistance

biotic potential

[bī′äd·ik pə′ten·chəl]
The maximum possible growth rate of living things under ideal conditions.

Biotic Potential


in ecology, the ability of a species to withstand unfavorable environmental factors.

The term was introduced by the American ecologist R. Chapman (1925) in connection with the dynamics of animal populations. According to Chapman, the biotic potential is the quantitative expression of the ability of organisms to withstand environmental resistance. His theory is that the potential fecundity of animals is not realized because it is suppressed by the one-sided action of the environment, with which organisms have antagonistic relations. Modern thought holds this to be a simplified view. Changes in fecundity and survival of animals occur both under the influence of abiotic factors and as a result of relations between and within species. Intrapopulation mechanisms play a major role in these processes by enabling a population to respond actively to environmental factors.


Naumov, N. P. Ekologiia zhivotnykh. Moscow, 1955.
Villi, K. Biologiia. Moscow, 1968. Page 700. (Translated from English.)


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These parameters allowed the intrinsic rate of increase, the biotic potential and the net replacement rate to be calculated.
When submitting the values for the biotic potential of the population, along with the biotic perpetuation on a life expectancy curve, differences were found for all larval stages (37 to 44) and this range of numerical differences was called environmental resistance (see Figure 4).
The biotic potential (BP) was estimated to determine the intrinsic capacity of the species to generate descendants under different rearing conditions, with environmental resistance assumed to be absent (Silveira Neto et al.