Mechanisms of soil organic carbon (SOC) stability are still unclear in forest ecosystems. In order to unveil the influences of topography on the SOC stability, a 60ha dynamic plot of a tropical montane rainforest was selected in Jianfengling, in Hainan Island, China and soil was sampled from 60 quadrats. The chemical fractions of the SOC were detected with 13C CPMAS/NMR and path analyses explore the mechanisms of SOC stability in different topographies. The chemical fractions of the SOC comprised alkyl carbon O-alkyl carbon carboxyl carbon aromatic carbon. The decomposition index (DI) values were greater than 1 in the different topographies, with an average DI value was 1.29, which indicated that the SOC in the study area was stable. Flat and top areas (together named RF) had more favorable nutrients and silt contents compared with steep and slight steep areas (together named RS). The influencing factors of SOC stability varied across the topographies, where SOC, soil moisture (SM) and ammoniacal nitrogen (NH.sub.4 .sup.+ -N, AN) were the main influencing factors in the RF, while SM and AN were the main factors in the RS. Greater SOC and AN strengthened the SOC stability, while higher soil moisture lowered SOC stability. The inertia index was higher in the RS than the RF areas, indicating that local topography significantly affects SOC content and SOC stability by changing soil environmental factors. Topography cannot be neglected in considering SOC stability and future C budgets.