Preliminary Investigation into the Natural Decay Resistance of Nigerian Grown Hevea brasiliensis and Mitragyna ciliata wood to Phanerochaete chrysosporium White-Rot Fungus
J M Owoyemi, U O Emmanuel
Wood is an important and versatile structural building material that finds applications in numerous uses. However, wood is also a biological material vulnerable to degradation by microbial activities; this is especially true in the tropics. Following the scarcity of highly durable species from our natural forests and the introduction of so many lesser used/durable wood species into the booming timber market, the natural durability of timber materials available in the market becomes of critical importance with respect to appropriate material selection, as well as the nature and extent of processing required to avoid deterioration of such wood in service by biodeteriorating agents. In this study, preliminary investigation into the natural decay resistance of Nigerian grown Mitragyna ciliata and Hevea brasiliensis wood to Phanerochaete chrysosporium white-rot fungus was carried out. Surfaces of Mitragyna ciliata and Hevea brasiliensis wood samples from the top, middle and base stem height positions of the two wood species were exposed to P. chrysosporium in an accelerated laboratory decay test according to ASTM D-2017 for sixteen weeks. Preliminary results indicate that both the M. ciliata and H. brasiliensis wood species wood species just after two weeks are susceptible to attack by the P. chrysosporium white-rot fungi, as the test blocks were visibly covered with fungus mycelium. However, the degree of mass loss as a result of the fungal attack and the classification of the wood samples of the two species based on their natural resistance are yet to be ascertained and will be made available in a full paper that will be sent not later than the last week of March, 2018.