Coarse woody debris constitutes an important and often indispensable habitat component for a huge number of vertebrates dwelling in temperate forests. The paper collates the results of research on the impact of coarse woody debris on the functioning of the Rodentia and Soricomorpha populations. In reference to this groups of vertebrates, the subject has been well−documented in the North America. Nevertheless, with regard to small European mammals the issue has not yet been fully recognized. The paper constitutes a review of the available literature on the matter. The cited research revealed that coarse woody debris, in its different decomposition stages, increases the heterogeneity of a habitat. Creating unique micro−habitats for small mammals of high environmental demands, it offers refuge, reproduction site and rich source of nourishment. The abundance of coarse woody debris may have an indirect impact on a population quantity, density and functioning, including area exploitation. The authors stress the fact that in the case of small mammals, associations between coarse woody debris and population features are not universal for all species, since they tend to differ in ecological characteristics. An analysis of the available literature on the matter reveals that the current knowledge of the associations between small mammals and coarse woody debris needs to be broadened and improved. It concerns, in particular, the areas where this type of research has not yet been conducted, including European and Polish forests.