, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 927-954
Date: 11 Oct 2012

Criteria for the Existence and Lower Bounds of Principal Eigenvalues of Time Periodic Nonlocal Dispersal Operators and Applications

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The current paper is concerned with the spectral theory, in particular, the principal eigenvalue theory, of nonlocal dispersal operators with time periodic dependence, and its applications. Nonlocal and random dispersal operators are widely used to model diffusion systems in applied sciences and share many properties. There are also some essential differences between nonlocal and random dispersal operators, for example, a smooth random dispersal operator always has a principal eigenvalue, but a smooth nonlocal dispersal operator may not have a principal eigenvalue. In this paper, we first establish criteria for the existence of principal eigenvalues of time periodic nonlocal dispersal operators with Dirichlet type, Neumann type, or periodic type boundary conditions. It is shown that a time periodic nonlocal dispersal operator possesses a principal eigenvalue provided that the nonlocal dispersal distance is sufficiently small, or the time average of the underlying media satisfies some vanishing condition with respect to the space variable at a maximum point or is nearly globally homogeneous with respect to the space variable. Next we obtain lower bounds of the principal spectrum points of time periodic nonlocal dispersal operators in terms of the corresponding time averaged problems. Finally we discuss the applications of the established principal eigenvalue theory to time periodic Fisher or KPP type equations with nonlocal dispersal and prove that such equations are of monostable feature, that is, if the trivial solution is linearly unstable, then there is a unique time periodic positive solution which is globally asymptotically stable.