Demographic stochasticity and extinction in populations with Allee effect

Vicenç Méndez, Michael Assaf, Axel Masó-Puigdellosas, Daniel Campos, Werner Horsthemke

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We study simple stochastic scenarios, based on birth-and-death Markovian processes, that describe populations with the Allee effect, to account for the role of demographic stochasticity. In the mean-field deterministic limit we recover well-known deterministic evolution equations widely employed in population ecology. The mean time to extinction is in general obtained by the Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin (WKB) approximation for populations with the strong and weak Allee effects. An exact solution for the mean time to extinction can be found via a recursive equation for special cases of the stochastic dynamics. We study the conditions for the validity of the WKB solution and analyze the boundary between the weak and strong Allee effect by comparing exact solutions with numerical simulations.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number022101
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2019

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© 2019 American Physical Society.


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