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The problem of spectrum scarcity and inefficiency in spectrum usage will be addressed by the newly emerging cognitive radio paradigm that allows radios to opportunistically transmit in the vacant portions of the spectrum already assigned to licensed users. For this, the ability for spectrum sensing, spectrum sharing, choosing the best spectrum among the available options, and dynamically adapting transmission parameters based on the activity of the licensed spectrum owners must be integrated within cognitive radio users. Specifically in cognitive radio ad hoc networks, distributed multihop architecture, node mobility, and spatio-temporal variance in spectrum availability are some of the key distinguishing factors. In this article the important features of CRAHNs are presented, along with the design approaches and research challenges that must be addressed. Spectrum management in CRAHNs comprises spectrum sensing, sharing, decision, and mobility. In this article each of these functions are described in detail from the viewpoint of multihop infra-structureless networks requiring cooperation among users.