## Abstract

Demographic noise causes unlimited population growth in a broad class of models which, without noise, would predict a stable finite population. We study this effect on the example of a stochastic birth-death model which includes immigration, binary reproduction, and death. The unlimited population growth proceeds as an exponentially slow decay of a metastable probability distribution (MPD) of the population. We develop a systematic WKB theory, complemented by the van Kampen system size expansion, for the MPD and for the decay time. Important signatures of the MPD are a power-law tail (such that all the distribution moments, except the zeroth one, diverge) and the presence in the solution of two different WKB modes.

Original language | American English |
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Article number | 060103 |

Journal | Physical Review E |

Volume | 78 |

Issue number | 6 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 1 Dec 2008 |