The oxygen isotopes of CO2 and H2O ( 18O-CO2 and 18O-H2O) provide unique information regarding the contribution of terrestrial vegetation to the global CO2 and H2O cycles. In this paper, a simple isotopic land surface model was used to investigate processes controlling the isotopic exchange of 18O-H2O and 18O-CO2 between a soybean ecosystem and the atmosphere. We included in a standard land surface model a nonsteady state theory of leaf water isotopic composition, a canopy kinetic fractionation factor, and a big-leaf parameterization of the 18O-CO2 isoforcing on the atmosphere. Our model simulations showed that the Pclet effect was less important than the nonsteady state effect on the temporal dynamics of the water isotopic exchange. The model reproduced the highly significant and negative correlation between relative humidity and the ecosystem-scale 18O-CO2 isoforcing measured with eddy covariance. But the model-predicted isoforcing was biased high in comparison to the observations. Model sensitivity analysis suggested that the CO2 hydration efficiency must have been much lower in the leaves of soybean in field conditions than previously reported. Understanding environmental controls on the hydration efficiency and the scaling from the leaf to the canopy represents an area in need of more research.