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Velocity fluctuations of population fronts propagating into metastable states.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Physical Review E
1550-2376
Publisher
American Physical Society
Publication Date
Volume
84
Issue
1 Pt 1
Pages
11147–11147
Identifiers
PMID: 21867152
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The position of propagating population fronts fluctuates because of the discreteness of the individuals and stochastic character of processes of birth, death, and migration. Here we consider a Markov model of a population front propagating into a metastable state, and focus on the weak noise limit. For typical, small fluctuations the front motion is diffusive, and we calculate the front diffusion coefficient. We also determine the probability distribution of rare, large fluctuations of the front position and, for a given average front velocity, find the most likely population density profile of the front. Implications of the theory for population extinction risk are briefly considered.

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