Adaptation to climate change has become a more serious concern as IPCC assessment reports estimate a rise of up to 2 degrees C in average global temperatures by the end of the century. Several recently published studies have underlined the importance of forest management in mitigating the impacts of climate change and in supporting the adaptation capacity of the ecosystem. This study focuses on the role of water-related forest services in this adaptation process. The effects of forestry practices on streamflow can best be determined by paired watershed analysis. The impact of two cutting treatments on runoff was analyzed by a paired experimental watershed study in the Belgrade Forest and the results were evaluated in relation to similar experiments conducted around the world. Forest thinning treatments at 11% and 18% were carried out in a mature oak-beech forest ecosystem over different time periods. Although the thinning increased the runoff statistically, the amount of surplus water remained <5% of the annual water yield. Evidently, the hydrologic response of the watersheds was low due to the reduced intensity of the timber harvest. Finally, the results were combined with those of global studies on thinning, clearcutting and species conversion with the aim of formulating management options for adaptation. (c) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.