The evolution of the probability density of a biological population is described using nonlinear stochastic differential equations for the growth process and the related Fokker-Planck equations for the time-dependent probability densities. It is shown that the effect of the initial conditions disappears rapidly from the evolution of the mean of the process. But the behaviour of the variance depends on the initial condition. It may monotonically increase, reaching its maximum in the steady state, or have a rather complicated evolution reaching the maximum near the point where growth rates (not population size) is maximal. The variance then decreases to its steady-state value. This observation has implications for risk assessments associated with growing populations, such as microbial populations, which cause food poisoning if the population size reaches a critical level.
Mathematical and Computer Modelling, 2003, 38 (11-13), pp. 1437 - 1442 (6)