By using Vario EL III element analyzer, the vertical distribution characteristics of soil organic carbon (SOC) and light-fraction organic carbon (LFOC) in the lawn, patch plantation, and reed wetland at river banks of Fuzhou urban area were studied in July 2007. For all the three land cover types, the SOC and LFOC contents were the highest in surface soil layer, and declined gradually with soil depth. Compared with reed wetland, the lawn and patch plantation had higher SOC and LFOC contents in each layer of the soil profile (0-60 cm), and the lawn had significantly higher contents of SOC and LFOC in 0-20 cm soil layer, compared with the patch plantation. After the reed wetland was converted into lawn and patch plantation, the SOC stock in the soil profile was increased by 94.8% and 72.0%, and the LFOC stock was increased by 225% and 93%, respectively. Due to the changes of plant species, plant density, and management measure, the conversion from natural wetland into human-manipulated green spaces increased the SOC and LFOC stocks in the soil profile, and improved the soil quality. Compared with the SOC, soil LFOC was more sensitive to land use/cover change, especially for those in 0-20 cm soil layer.