We report here first results on the bulk soil organic carbon (SOC), apparent radiocarbon ages and δ13C characteristics of the tropical and subtropical forest soil in Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve (DHSBR). The forest oxisol in Dinghushan has developed during the Holocene. The δ13C variation curves in all three profiles may be divided into two sections. The upper section from 0 to 40 cm has δ13C values varying from −27.4 to −24.1‰, −27.5 to −22.2‰, and −24.4 to −20.1‰. in the Wukesong, Qingyunsi and Kengkou profiles, respectively. The lower section, including the 40–160 cm horizons, has a uniform δ13C. The mean δ13C values of the soil organic carbon could be used not only to discriminate between C3 and C4 plants, but also to distinguish between coniferous and broad-leaf plants.