A micro-habitat will differ from the larger environment around it, making it particularly suited to one or more species.
For instance, the damp underside of a stone in the forest could provide shelter for a woodlouse and decaying leaf and plant matter for them to eat. This micro-habitat is better adapted for the woodlouse than the exposed undergrowth of the forest floor.
Micro-habitats can be:
• A pond or puddle
• A rotten stump
• The space beneath a paving stone
• A moldy apple
• A terrarium
Micro-habitats and Biodiversity
Micro-habitats help to encourage biodiversity in the plant and animal kingdom by creating many habitats in which animals can adapt and thrive.
Microhabitats can provide alternative food and water sources, shelter, and climate than larger habitats. In addition, small animals such as insects, mice, and frogs often use micro-habitats when their habitat makes them vulnerable to predators.
A rotting log may become home to several insect species, a clump of moss, a cluster of forest fungi, and a family of frogs. Micro-habitats are amazing, and they exist all around us!
Minibeasts and micro-habitat facts
You can teach children about micro-habitats by linking them to a topic on minibeasts. Minibeasts are a great example of creatures that live in micro-habitats. And, there are lots of fascinating minibeast and micro-habitat facts that you can share with your children to engage their learning.
• Caterpillars – Many species of the caterpillar have a micro-habitat on the underside of a leaf. The leaf offers them shelter and safety from the weather and predators. A leaf also provides them with food. What more could a caterpillar want?
• Compost heaps – These are an example of artificial micro-habitat. A compost heap is full of delicious food for decomposers such as worms.
• Millipedes – These minibeasts are an example of one that has adapted to its micro-habitat. They like living under logs and rocks on the forest floor. Here they find everything they need to eat and survive. Unfortunately, many other predatory insects and animals also want to live in these places. So the millipede has adapted to protect itself. It produces a highly poisonous chemical that stops other creatures from eating it. They also have a hard outer shell, like a suit of armor, to give them added protection.

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