A host of small organisms dwell in the soil, ranging from microscopic bacteria that decompose organic matter to larger arthropods.

Fungi are mainly decomposers, though some are mutualistic mycorrhizae; some may even be predatory on nematodes (roundworms) by wrapping their hyphae around the victim.

Most nematodes and springtails are scavengers, feeding on detritus (dead organic matter), starting the decomposition process that cycle nutrients through the ecosystem.

Predators here include arachnids such as predatory mites and pseudoscorpions.