Geldenhuys  states that species diversity within forest patches is determined by patch size and proximity to other forests, which together explain 82% of the species richness in South Africa's forests. The floristic variation within BRCNR's forests can be attributed predominantly to variation in species composition along an altitudinal gradient. Extremes in environmental variables and gradients, associated with a history of over-utilization, have resulted in a floristically and dynamically diverse forest type. Fire exclusion, clearing of old plantation sites, and a history of intensive and selective logging have all contributed to the variation in forest dynamics currently occurring on BRCNR.
The afromontane forests occurring on BRCNR are extremely fragmented, and yet over 2100 ha of forest patches are conserved within its boundaries. A large proportion of forest-dependent tree species are offered protection within BRCNR's borders. Of special interest was the discovery of Jasminum abyssinicum, Combretum edwardsii and Olinia radiata, all of which occurred in relatively large numbers in the forest. Jasminum abyssinicum had a status of Insufficiently Known under the old Transvaal threatened plants programme , and Hilton-Taylor  currently lists this species under the Red Data List of South African Plants. Jasminum abyssinicum occurred in 64% of the sample plots and in both forest communities identified. Combretum edwardsii is similarly listed as Insufficiently Known and also occurs under the Red Data List of South African Plants. Combretum edwardsii occurred in 73% of the sample plots. Pooley  lists O. radiata as very rare in KwaZulu Natal and Transkei and fails to mention its occurrence north of Natal. Palmer & Pitman  describe O. radiata as a rare species restricted to Natal forests from Pondoland to Zululand. This species was surprisingly common in the canopy of BRCNR's forests and occurred in 82% of the sample plots.
Some severely over-utilized forest patches are currently in a state of recovery; however, current and future damage from invasive trees is a threat to this recovery. Some of the forest patches on BRCNR have a forest margin largely comprised of the invasive black wattle (Acacia mearnsii). The flammable nature of this species, compared to natural forest margin species, allows grassland fires to penetrate forests, resulting in a reduction in forest patch size. With a large edge effect resulting from many small forest patches, there is a need for careful fire management and stringent alien plant control.
According to Geldenhuys , conservation status implies the extent to which populations, species or communities have been modified by the influences of man and the degree to which they might be expected to maintain their genetic diversity and ecological processes in the medium term (10 to 100 years). We see two different aspects to the conservation of the afromontane forest biome in the BRCNR. Firstly, it is the maintenance of the components and critical processes within a forest ecosystem. The disturbed and unstable state of the forest margins are identified as an area requiring further investigation. The effects of the alien tree species (e.g., black wattle) and the destructive burning of forest margins should be of concern to management authorities, as the forest patches are being reduced in size and the impact of edge effects is being amplified on the forest interior. Secondly, it is the maintenance of gene flow between the fragmented forest patches through management of the land surrounding the forest and forest corridors. As the BRCNR forest vegetation is situated along an altitudinal gradient, it therefore seems possible to identify certain forest patches (which may have been harvested in the past, or possibly will in the future) as critical adjuncts for conserved forest patches at the same altitude.
From the evidence we gathered, no "climax" forests exist on BRCNR. Although it is known that BRCNR's forests were utilized, the impact, extent and degree of the utilization are still not quantified. An investigation into the successional and dynamic state of the five largest forest patches is currently underway. Very little of the neighbouring forest on Mariepskop was harvested for its timber, and this forest seems to be the obvious control site for further comparative research.