Destruction of two tropical timbers by marine borers and micro-organisms in Goa waters (India)
L N Santhakumaran, A P Singh
The paper deals with the pattern of microbial attack in relation to marine borer damage of test panels of African rosewood and Brazilian jackwood exposed in Goa waters (Western India) for a period of seven months. The degradation of wood cell walls in both the timber samples occurred due to infestation of soft-rot fungi and tunnelling bacteria. African rosewood, which was severely damaged by teredinids and pholads, was also heavily degraded by both soft-rot fungi and tunnelling bacteria. In contrast, Brazilian jackwood, which effectively resisted teredinids and was only mildly attacked by pholads, was also less severely degraded by the above microorganisms. Thus, the study demonstrates a close parallel between the activity of marine borers and wood-degrading microorganisms present in the cell walls of the wood samples examined.