Population-size-dependent, age-structured branching processes linger around their carrying capacity
Journal article, 2011
Dependence of individual reproduction upon the size of the whole population is studied in a general branching process context. The particular feature under scrutiny is that of reproduction changing from supercritical in small populations to subcritical in large ones. The transition occurs when population size passes a critical threshold, known in ecology as the carrying capacity. We show that populations either die out directly, never coming close to the carrying capacity, or else they grow quickly towards the latter, subsequently lingering around it for a time that is expected to be exponentially long in terms of a carrying capacity tending to infinity.