Leaf litter is made of dead leaves and other debris that fall to the floor of a forest or in bushland. It creates a habitat for many different animals, particularly invertebrates. As leaf litter rots it forms soil and creates nutrients for plants. It also stops soil from drying out.
Leaf litter as habitat
Animals such as spiders, centipedes and ants move over the surface of the leaf litter while decomposers such as worms and bush cockroaches tunnel through the soil or live permanently in burrows.
Wolf spiders are arachnids that live in leaf litter or in burrows throughout Australia. There are many species which range in size from 1cm to 8cm. They are hunters that prey upon insects and other spiders. Some larger species can eat frogs and small lizards.
Centipedes are myriapods. They can be found in leaf litter, soil or under rocks and logs. They are carnivorous, preying upon other small invertebrates such as beetles and millipedes.
Find out more
Habitat is a special digital book that investigates the needs of living things through detailed text, interactive activities, videos and stunning images.
Explore the value of habitats such as trees, shrubs and ground cover plants and non-living habitats such as leaf litter, rocks, logs and water.
Find out how to create and restore habitats that will help animals survive and thrive.
This book supports Australian Curriculum biological sciences and living world.