law of minimum
law of minimum[′lȯ əv ′min·ə·məm]
The law that those essential elements for which the ratio of supply to demand (A / N) reaches a minimum will be the first to be removed from the environment by life processes; it was proposed by J. von Liebig, who recognized phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium as minimum in the soil; in the ocean the corresponding elements are phosphorus, nitrogen, and silicon. Also known as Liebig's law of minimum.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.