Extinction risk of a metapopulation under bistable local dynamics

Ohad Vilk, Michael Assaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We study the extinction risk of a fragmented population residing on a network of patches coupled by migration, where the local patch dynamics includes deterministic bistability. Mixing between patches is shown to dramatically influence the population's viability. We demonstrate that slow migration always increases the population's global extinction risk compared to the isolated case, while at fast migration synchrony between patches minimizes the population's extinction risk. Moreover, we discover a critical migration rate that maximizes the extinction risk of the population, and identify an early-warning signal when approaching this state. Our theoretical results are confirmed via the highly efficient weighted ensemble method. Notably, our theoretical formalism can also be applied to studying switching in gene regulatory networks with multiple transcriptional states.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number012135
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number1
StatePublished - 30 Jan 2020

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© 2020 American Physical Society.


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