The influence of gaseous oxygen concentration on fungal growth rates, biomass production and wood decay

IRG/WP 98-10283

S M Kazemi, D J Dickinson, R J Murphy

The effects of air and several levels of oxygen balanced with nitrogen (% oxygen (v/v) nitrogen to 100%) on growth rates, biomass production and wood decay were investigated. The best technique for measuring daily growth rates in anaerobic jars was found to be by using 40 mm petri dishes which were attached to the walls of the jars. At the end of the test period the same petri dishes were also used for determining the dry weight of the fungal mycelia. The results showed that 5% oxygen concentration was very favourable for white rot and brown rot fungi (Basidiomycetes). When oxygen levels were reduced from 1% to 0.01%, the growth rates and dry weight of these fungi were steadily decreased. On the other hand, there was a large difference between very low oxygen levels (0.01 to 1%) and other levels (5 to 21% 02). In the case of other fungi there was not a big difference on their growth rates and biomass. Observational and numerical results on Fagus sylvatica (beech) and Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine) degradation by Coriolus versicolor, Coniophora puteana and Chaetomium globosum showed that there was a large difference in the degradation of the wood samples caused by C. puteana and C. versicolor when exposed to air and other levels of oxygen (0.25,1, 5 and 10% 02). Weight losses obtained by C. globosum as a soft rot on timber specimens in air and other oxygen levels were all in same range and below 5%. On the other hand there was a safety point at 5% 02 below which the fungus was unable to degrade beech. This point was 10% 02 for scots pine. At these points, weight losses were under 5%.


Conference: 98-06-14/19 Maastricht, The Low Countries

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