Qualitative - Quantitative Analysis of Wood-Inhabiting Fungi in External Wooden Structures of the Latvian Cultural Heritage

IRG/WP 10-10728

I Irbe, M Karadelev, B Andersons

The frequency and diversity of wood inhabiting fungi in the exterior wood were established in the Araishi lake fortress, the Lielvarde wooden castle, the Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, Riga, and twelve wooden heritage objects in the Eastern part of Latvia (Latgale). The inspected wooden structures of the external woodwork included windows, stairs, walls, floorings, roofs, fences, and benches. Pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H.Karst.) were the primary construction materials used in the inspected objects. Roofs, walls and fences were the most commonly decayed outdoor structures. The fungi from the phyla Basidiomycota, Ascomycota and Protozoa (Myxomycota) were identified. Common fungal genera were Antrodia, Gloeophyllum, Athelia, Hyphoderma, Hyphodontia, Pharenochaete, Postia and Botryobasidium. Mainly corticoid and poroid species were recorded in the outdoor structures. The predominance of white-rot, represented by corticoids, in the external woodwork is explained by the location of objects in woody areas, where the source of infection and a favourable microclimate were ensured. The accelerating factors for severe wood biodeterioration in outdoor structures were (i) the presence of vegetation around the objects and (ii) the surrounding lake water, which ensured extra moisture for fungal development. The fungal diversity and frequency in the constructions were affected by the substrate (softwood/hardwood) and decay location (outdoors/indoors).

Keywords: cultural heritage; biodeterioration; external woodwork; wood-decay fungi; Republic of Latvia

Conference: 10-05-09/13 Biarritz, France

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