This biological / ecological term is a ‘working concept.’
Therefore it does not represent a fixed condition of ecology.
So it gets used in multiple ways — and often not in ‘science-based’ ways to represent various biological conditions.
For example, public (tax-payer) organization such as our Idaho’s Fish and Game Commission [IDFG] — or the United States Forest Service; or the ‘BLM’ — or the Idaho Department of Agriculture; each have their own definitions for a ‘Carrying Capacity.’
Likely you can anticipate what each org’s (‘group’s) choice of definition they would choose to emphasize.
Also, if Idaho were a land with the Pacific Ocean as one of its political boundaries — or an entire country (island) like Japan, then their primary values would emphasize their values.
Needless to point out then, that a person or group studying "carrying capacities” is going to have their own definition to suit their own purposes / goals.
Their own biases.
We each need to be alert to that.
Dr. M. Keene Hueftle,