Diurnal variation in the atmospheric CO2 concentration and the carbon isotopic composition (Δ14C and δ13C) was measured in a forest in an urban area on 9 February 1999. The carbon isotope approach used in the present study differentiated between the quantitative contributions from anthropogenic and biogenic CO2 sources in the urban atmosphere. The anthropogenic (fossil fuel) and biogenic (soil respiration) contributions was estimated, and they ranged from 1 to 16% and from 2 to 8% of the total atmospheric CO2. The diurnal variation of the anthropogenic CO2 was the major cause of the total atmospheric CO2 variation, while the biogenic CO2 remained relatively constant throughout the day. Estimating the contribution of soil respired CO2 provided the mean residence time of soil respired CO2 within the forest atmosphere.