Dynamics of Rational Surface Automorphisms: Linear Fractional Recurrences

Kyounghee Kim, Eric Bedford

We consider the family $f_{a,b}(x,y)=(y,(y+a)/(x+b))$ of birational maps of the plane and the parameter values $(a,b)$ for which $f_{a,b} $ gives an automorphism of a rational surface. In particular, we find values for which $f_{a,b}$ is an automorphism of positive entropy but no invariant curve. The Main Theorem is: If $f_{a,b}$ is an automorphism with an invariant curve and positive entropy, then either (1) $(a,b)$ is real, and the restriction of $f$ to the real points has maximal entropy, or (2) $f_{a,b}$ has a rotation (Siegel) domain.