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Despite being the subject of many years of research, distributed channel assignment remains a challenging problem. In this paper, we use a cross-layer approach and present a family of efficient distributed channel assignment protocols for wireless ad hoc networks. These protocols seek to assign distinct channels to each node within all sets of interfering nodes on the same route, subject to a channel availability constraint. Because the proposed protocols combine channel assignment with routing, they exhibit significantly lower communication, computation, and storage complexity than existing channel assignment schemes. We present an example protocol that utilizes the AODV routing protocol. In addition, we prove the correctness of the algorithms and derive an upper bound on the number of channels required to both resolve collisions and mitigate interference. Simulation results show that the performance of the proposed protocols can approach that of centralized near-optimal algorithms when the number of active routes is small.