limiting factor

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limiting factor

A factor or condition that, either temporarily or permanently, impedes mission accomplishment. Illustrative examples are transportation network deficiencies, lack of in-place facilities, malpositioned forces or materiel, extreme climatic conditions, distance, transit or overflight rights, political conditions, etc.
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Previously, modelers had simulated the competition of species for two limiting resources and found that the number of species could not exceed the number of scarce resources--two.
No one would have guessed that if you put three limiting resources together with many species [in a spatially featureless model environment] that they would be able to coexist" without influences from outside, says ecologist G.