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resourceressource (fr.); Ressource (ger.)

  • A means of supplying a deficiency or need; something that is a source of help, information, strength, etc. (OED 2012)
    This power of action and capability of increase require a supply of materials, as well for the increase as for the waste arising from action. […] The idea of a supply always supposes a resource distinct from the thing supplied […]. This supply is furnished by the materials of the globe
    Hunter, J. [1786-87]. Lectures on the Principles of Surgery (Works, vol. 1, ed. J.F. Palmer, London 1835, 199-632): 214.

    The Ostrich […] runs with amazing rapidity, and consequently requires similar resources of air.

    Bewick, T. (1797). History of British Birds, vol. 1: ix.


    in many of the natural populations that have been studied, shortage of food, living-room, nesting-sites or some other material necessity of life has been shown to be an important hazard reducing the animal’s chance to survive and multiply. It is convenient to have a single name for all the material necessities of life; in this paper we shall call them “resources”.

    Andrewartha, H.G. & Browning, T.O. (1961). An analysis of the idea of “resources” in animal ecology. J. theor. Biol. 1, 83-97: 83.


    Resource A substance or object required by an organism for normal maintenance, growth, and reproduction

    Ricklefs, R. (1973). Ecology: 792.

    A resource is an object or area in the environment that is consumed or used up by a living organism
    Ehrlich, P.R. & Roughgarden, J. (1987). The Science of Ecology: 7.

    There is general agreement that a resource of a given individual or population has the property of increasing survival or reproduction—and hence that resources are a major determinant of natural selection.

    Abrams, P. (1992). Resource. In: Keller, E.F. & Lloyd, E.A. (eds.). Keywords in Evolutionary Biology, 282-285: 282.