The 26 plots including natural forestland, secondary forestland, shrub-grassland, sloping cropland, artificial forest and abandoned field, were selected to discuss the impact of land cover on the soil characteristics in the three karst districts of Chongqing. The results showed that: (1) After the vegetation turned into secondary vegetation or artificial vegetation, or reclamation, soil physical properties would be degraded. In the surface-layer soil of sloping cropland, the contents of > 2 mm water-stable aggregates decreased obviously with apparent sandification. (2) The contents of soil organic matter and total nitrogen are controlled completely by vegetation type and land use intensity. The increasing trend is rather slow in the early days when over-reclamation is stopped and the land is converted to forest and pasture. (3) Herbaceous species increase and woody plants species decrease with the increase of land use intensity, therefore, the soil seed banks degrade more seriously. (4) The soil degradation index has been set up to describe the relative soil degradation degree under the conditions of different vegetation types. (5) Land cover has a significant effect on karst soil characteristics, land degradation in the karst ecosystem is essentially characterized by the different degradation of soil functions that serve as water banks, nutrient banks and soil seed banks.