Publisher Summary: Coarse woody debris (CWD) is an important component of temperate stream and forest ecosystems. This chapter reviews the rates at which CWD is added and removed from ecosystems, the biomass found in streams and forests, and many functions that CWD serves. CWD is added to ecosystems by numerous mechanisms, including wind, fire, insect attack, pathogens, competition, and geomorphic processes. Despite the many long-term studies on tree mortality, there are few published rates of CWD input on mass-area-1 time-1 basis. CWD is significantly transformed physically and chemically. Movement of CWD, especially in streams, is also an important but poorly documented mechanism whereby CWD is lost from ecosystems. Many factors control the rate at which CWD decomposes, including temperature, moisture, internal gas composition of CWD, substrate quality, size of CWD, and types of organisms involved. However, the importance of many of these factors has yet to be established in field experiments. CWD performs many functions in ecosystems, serving as autotrophic and heterotrophic habitat and strongly influencing geomorphic processes, especially in streams. It is also a major component of nutrient cycles in many ecosystems and is an important functional component of stream and forest ecosystems.