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Local extinction versus local exponential growth for spatial branching processes

  • Author(s): Englander, Janos
  • Kyprianou, A E
  • et al.

Let X be either the branching diffusion corresponding to the operator Lu + beta(u(2) - u) on D subset of or equal to R-d [where beta(x) greater than or equal to 0 and beta not equivalent to 0 is bounded from above] or the superprocess corresponding to the operator Lu + betau - alphau(2) on D subset of or equal to R-d (with alpha > 0 and beta is bounded from above but no restriction on its sign). Let lambda(c) denote the generalized principal eigenvalue for the operator L + beta on D. We prove the following dichotomy: either lambda(c) less than or equal to 0 and X exhibits local extinction or lambda(c) > 0 and there is exponential growth of mass on compacts of D with rate lambdac. For superdiffusions, this completes the local extinction criterion obtained by Pinsky [Ann. Probab. 24 (1996) 237-267] and a recent result on the local growth of mass under a spectral assumption given by Englander and Turaev [Ann. Probab. 30 (2002) 683-7221. The proofs in the above two papers are based on PDE techniques, however the proofs we offer are probabilistically conceptual. For the most part they are based on "spine" decompositions or "immortal particle representations" along with martingale convergence and the law of large numbers. Further they are generic in the sense that they work for both types of processes.

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