This paper studied the effects of exotic and native dissolved organic matter (DOM) on the phenanthrene adsorption by three soils differed in soil organic carbon content (foc). The exotic DOM came from decayed rice straw, while the native DOM was extracted from the test soils. In all cases, the adsorption of phenanthrene by treated soils could be well described with linear-type model, and there was a positive correlation between adsorption coefficient (Kd) and foc Compared with the control, the Kd value of test soils after native DOM removed was increased by 7. 08% -21. 4% , and the increment (deltaKd) was positively correlated with fo,, indicating that the presence of soil native DOM impeded the phenanthrene adsorption by soil. The effects of exotic DOM on phenanthrene adsorption had a close relation with its added concentration in soil-water system. Within the range of 0-106 mg DOC x L(-1) , the K, value increased first, and then decreased with the increase of added exotic DOM concentration. Lower concentrations of added exotic DOM promoted the phenanthrene adsorption by soil, while higher concentrations ( I> or =52 mg DOC x L(-1)) of it obviously impeded this adsorption. These effects of exotic and native DOM on soil phenanthrene adsorption were considered to be related to the association of phenanthrene with DOM in solution, and the ' cumulative adsorption effect' between soil solid and aqueous phases.