Extinction risk under coloured environmental noise



Positively autocorrelated red environmental noise is characterized by a strong dependence of expected sample variance on sample length. This dependence has to be taken into account when assessing extinction risk under red and white uncorrelated environmental noise. To facilitate a comparison between red and white noise, their expected variances can be scaled to be equal, but only at a chosen time scale. We show with a simple one-dimensional population dynamics model that the different but equally reasonable choices of the time scale yield qualitatively different results on the dependence of extinction risk on the colour of environmental noise: extinction risk might increase as well as decrease when the temporal correlation of noise increases.