Standard Article

Coarse Woody Debris

Natural Resources and Agriculture

  1. Goran Stahl,
  2. C. Andrew Dolloff

Published Online: 15 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.vac029.pub2

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Stahl, G. and Dolloff, C. A. 2013. Coarse Woody Debris . Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 1.

Author Information

  1. Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Skogsmarksgränd, Sweden

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2013


Coarse woody debris (CWD), synonymous with large woody debris, is a term used to describe wood from dead trees. Although an exact definition is not available, many researchers include all pieces of wood that are at least 10 cm in diameter and 1 m in length. CWD can consist of any coarse part of a dead tree, such as trunks or parts of trunks, branches, stumps, and root wads. A distinction is often made between standing dead trees, snags, and dead trees on the ground, logs. Dead roots in the soil are generally not considered as CWD although there is no principal reason why they should not be. Challenges to the measurement and quantification of CWD range from sampling issues to multivariate statistics for studying species occurrences and communities on dead wood. A brief overview of some specific environmetrical challenges is given in this article.