Taking the litter layer of three typical plant communities (broad-leaved forest, coniferous forest, and shrubs) as the research object, this study analyzed the hydrological function characteristics of the litter layers of different typical plant communities using the indoor immersion method in order to reveal the effects of the traits of the litter layer on the hydrological functions of typical plant communities in the core area. The results showed that: (1) the litter reserve change trend decreased in order as follows: broad-leaved forest (13.31 ± 1.54 t/hm2) > shrubs (12.62 ± 2.34 t/hm2) > coniferous forest (11.36 ± 1.43 t/hm2). The coniferous forest and shrub litter reserves increased significantly with the increase of decomposition degree (F = 19.36, P < 0.01; and F = 9.19, P < 0.01, respectively), while the broad-leaved forest litter reserves decreased first and then increased significantly with the increase of decomposition degree (F = 25.70, P < 0.01); (2) the litter natural moisture content change trends were as follows: shrubs (34.09 ± 4.31 t/hm2) > broad-leaved forest (31.32 ± 1.76 t/hm2) > coniferous forest (29.48 ± 7.02 t/hm2). The change trends of the maximum water-holding capacity, maximum interception amount, maximum interception rate, effective interception amount, and effective interception rate were in descending order as follows: broad-leaved forest > shrubs > coniferous forest. The maximum water-holding capacity, maximum interception amount, and effective interception amount of litter rose with the increase of decomposition degree. The broad-leaved forest community litter layer had the strongest rainfall interception function and the best hydrological service functions. The interception function was stronger with the increase of the decomposition degree of the litter layer; (3) the water-holding and water-releasing capacity variation of the litter layers manifested as reversed “J” features for the three typical plant communities. The water-holding capacity of different plant community litter layers (Qct) was significantly positively correlated with time (t) (P < 0.01), and the equation was Qct = b + alnt, whereas the water-releasing capacity of different plant community litter layers (Qst) was significantly positively correlated with time (t) (P < 0.01), and the equation was Qst = a t b; and (4) the water absorption and release rates of the litter layers had four periods. The water absorption rate (v) was significantly negatively correlated with time (t) (P < 0.01), and the equation was v = a t− b, while the water release rate was the same. The water absorption and release rates differed by one order of magnitude in the first 5 min, exhibiting the greatest regulation and storage function, while the rate differed by only 2.1–4.5 times during the last three periods. This shows that the litter layer has the strongest rainfall regulation and storage function for only a short period of time before declining.