SACAD: John Heinrichs Scholarly and Creative Activity Days



Forested ecosystems offer numerous goods and services, many of which are challenging to quantify directly. The productive potential of the Cross-Timber Forest region requires significant policy attention resulting from the economic contributions these services offer the locality – extending from southern Kansas to central Oklahoma and into Texas, including the metropolitan areas like Tulsa (Oklahoma), Oklahoma City (Oklahoma), and Dallas (Texas), providing ecosystem services to millions of residents along the Midwest-South continuum. Stand variety, in this transitional ecoregion, is largely comprised of post oak (Quercus stellata) and blackjack oak (Quercus marilandica) woodlands with varying tree densities interspersed with patches of tallgrass prairie with a a sizable portion of the region is not being actively managed, putting natural resources at risk of degradation (Susaeta, Sancewich, et. al. 2024). Active forest management tools, including prescribed burning, periodic thinning, and herbicides, have the potential to improve the production of ecosystem services and achieve socially desirable levels of associated public goods. In addition, growth – economics and population – increase greenhouse gas emissions – these anthropogenic greenhouse emissions will cause the Earth’s warming, increasing the global mean surface temperature between 1.1 °C and 4.8 °C by the end of the 21st century relative to 1986–2005 (IPCC, 2014). Changes in weather conditions are expected to have important impacts on natural systems with warmer temperatures may decrease water availability for streamflow and groundwater recharge, increase losses in species extinction, and shift the geographical distribution of forest plantations affecting timber supply in the region. However, the productivity of forestlands may be benefited with higher concentrations of carbon dioxide as long as water availability does not become a limiting factor (Susaeta, Sancewich, et. al. 2019); increased frequencies of natural disturbances associated with changes in weather conditions – such as fires, hurricanes and pest outbreaks – are expected to negatively affect the sustainability of forests. Forestry is a joint production process where the production of and resources to ecosystems services are interlinked. An increase in planting to increase carbon sequestration and generate more pulpwood occurs at the expense of reducing the availability of water for streamflow. Thus, it is imperative to analyze the impacts of different forest management approaches coupled with changing weather conditions on the sustainable flow of ecosystem services to the input allocation to produce these services (Susaeta, Sancewich, 2019). Understanding the efficiency of input use on production provides insight into the performance of the production process and the effectiveness of management practices.

We aim to expand the knowledge about efficiency in the provision of forest ecosystems in the Cross-Timber region of the United States (see figure 1) to understand the effectiveness of inputs allocation in the production process. We use an alternative parametric approach to estimate the efficiency in the production of forest ecosystem services known as stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) in this region. The input-oriented approach to technical efficiency represents the minimum input required to produce a given output. Stochastic frontier analysis, from an input perspective, determines the minimum amount by which a joint-production of inputs can be allocated to achieve the maximum output vector - are inputs overused in maximum output production? Measuring efficiency from an input-oriented perspective under the SFA approach allows one to: i) assessment the efficiency of forest management practices; ii) determine atmospheric impact on soil moisture in the provision of ecosystem services; iii) control for the random nature of biological growth, weather variability, natural disturbance impact, land ownership practices, and other climatic variables effecting soil moisture. Furthermore, the application of SFA – input orientated – in the scientific literature is related to the production of forest ecosystem services is scarce.



Submission Type

in-person poster




Copyright the Author(s)