All harvesting of biomass results in a loss of plant nutrients from the soil. The impact of this loss on forest productivity can be determined only if the total amounts of plant nutrients in logs, other biomass and soil are known. In investigations of tropical rainforest ecosystems the total analysis of calcium is common with regard to logs and other biomass, whereas for soils only the content of exchangeable calcium has been determined. This study, involving a calcium-poor bedrock area in Sabah, Malaysia, shows that the contents of total calcium in the soil can be estimated from figures of exchangeable calcium. In the state of Sabah, these estimated amounts were lower in 19 out of 115 soil profiles compared with the amount measured at our research area at Mendolong in Sabah where a sustainable forestry is not possible with the present rotation period without compensating for the harvest-related loss of calcium.
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