Persistence, extinction, and critical patch number for island populations

Linda J.S. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Sufficient conditions are derived for persistence and extinction of a population inhabiting several islands. Discrete reaction-diffusion population models are analyzed which describe growth and diffusion of a population on a group of islands or a patch environment. A critical patch number is defined as the number of islands below which the population goes extinct on that group of islands. It is shown that population persistence on one island leads to population persistence for the entire archipelago. Both single-species and multi-species models are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-625
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Mathematical Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 1987


  • Critical patch size
  • Extinction
  • Island biogeography
  • Persistence
  • Reaction-diffusion equation


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