The knowledge of the nutritional aspects of native species, mainly in natural regeneration, may be important for understanding their establishment, particularly in areas with low nutrient availability soils, such as tropical soils. This study aimed to determine the biological utilization efficiency (BUE) of the nutrients N, P, K, Ca, and Mg of forest species of natural regeneration in a Lowlands Dense Ombrophilous forest fragment in Pernambuco, Brazil. A phytosociological study of the fragment was carried out and were defined the ten species with the highest absolute density (AD). Three individuals per species were selected. The N, P, K, Ca, and Mg contents were determined in the sample leaves of the species, and the foliar biomass was determined “in loco”. Nine individuals of each species were collected according to the following diameter intervals at the base (DBs): DBs<5 cm; 5≤DBs<10 cm and 10≤DBs<15 cm. The content, stock and BUE of nutrients were calculated per species. The BUE of nutrients by species varied according to the following decreasing order: P>Mg>K>Ca>N. The highest BUE of nutrients was of the species Protium heptaphyllum. In tropical soils of low natural fertility, the use of these species can be recommended in environmental reforestation projects. The difference in the nutritional demand of the forest species can indicate the planting of those with greater capacity of absorption and BUE of nutrients, being more efficient in areas of soils with low natural fertility like in the tropical forests.