Down woody materials as an indicator of wildlife habitat, fuels, and carbon stocks of the United StatesThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Why Are Down Woody Materials Important? The down woody materials (DWM) indicator is used to estimate the quantity of dead
organic material (resulting from plant mortality and leaf turnover) in forest ecosystems of the United States. The DWM indicator, coupled with other components of the enhanced Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program, can indicate the current status of
fuels, carbon pools, and wildlife habitat of our nation’s forest ecosystems. The fine and coarse woody components of the DWM indicator are specifically designed to match the components defined by the National Fire Danger Rating System. Use of the DWM indicator may increase the precision of carbon pool estimates across the United States. Additionally, the coarse woody debris (CWD) component of DWM may indicate the condition of habitat critical for numerous plants and animals.