We measured the excess carrier lifetimes in as-grown and electron irradiated p-type 4H-SiC epitaxial layers with the microwave photoconductivity decay (-PCD) method. The carrier lifetime becomes longer with excitation density for the as-grown epilayer. This dependence suggests that e ≥h for the dominant recombination center, where e andh are capture cross sections for electrons and holes, respectively. In contrast, the carrier lifetime does not depend on the excitation density for the sample irradiated with electrons at an energy of 160 keV and a dose of 1×1017 cm-2. This may be due to the fact that recombination centers with e <<h were introduced by the electron irradiation or due to the fact that the acceptor concentration was decreased significantly by the irradiation.