Noise-driven unlimited population growth

Baruch Meerson*, Pavel V. Sasorov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


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 languageAmerican English
Article number060103
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2008


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