Preliminary studies to assess the effects of aeration and lowered humidity on the decay capacity, growth and survival of the dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans (Wulf ex. Fr.)
G A Low, J W Palfreyman, N A White, H J Staines, A Bruce
Novel microcosms were used to test separately the effects of aeration and humidity on the decay capacity, linear spread and survival of Serpula lacrymans. The application of a pumped air supply resulted in an effective cessation of fungal activity when all but the lowest of the air flow rates was used. Furthermore, the lowest air flow rate caused marked growth tropisms away from the stress. In separate chambers used to create a range of relative humidities, growth and decay were permitted only in the higher humidity regimes. In both the air flow and the humidity experiments, the loss of growth and decay abilities was not always accompanied by a loss of fungal survival. A test to compare the decay capacities of domestic building isolates and "wild" Himalayan isolates of S. lacrymans was also performed, as were comparisons of radial growth rates on malt agar. Significant differences between the two groups occurred in both tests.