1. The rates of leaching, speciation and bioavailability of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and dissolved phosphorus (P) leached from fresh leaves of the river redgum, Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh, were compared to those from leaves which had been aged on the flood plain for 5_months. The DOM and P leaching rates from microbially inhibited aged leaves were first-order with respect to leaf quantity. The kinetics of DOM and P leaching from fresh leaves were more complex; DOM leaching from fresh leaves appeared to be self-inhibitory, while P leaching from leaves was potentially enzymatically mediated.2. The speciation and microbial bioavailability of DOM from fresh and aged leaves were completely different. At lower leaf biomass, almost all the DOM from fresh leaves was utilized by an introduced microbial consortium; at higher biomass, microbial utilization appeared to be nutrient limited. Conversely, only about 30% of the DOM leached from aged leaves was utilized by the introduced microbial consortium during the course of the experiment. The difference in microbial utilization could be a result of changes in DOM speciation as a consequence of terrestrial ageing.3. Weak-anion exchange chromatograms of microbially inhibited fresh leaf extracts showed numerous (unassigned) DOM peaks, most of which could be used by the microbial consortium present. The weak-anion exchange chromatograms of sterile aged leaves showed only three broad peaks and a number of smaller spikes. Only one of the broad peaks could be utilized by the microbial consortium.4. Phosphorus speciation was also determined by weak-anion exchange chromatography. Most of the P leached from both fresh and aged leaves was free orthophosphate, and therefore, readily available. Two organic-P species leached from microbially inhibited fresh leaves were also found to be readily available to the microbiota.