Microbial Community Analysis of Naturally Durable Wood in an Above Ground Field Test
G T Kirker, S V Diehl, P K Lebow
This paper presents preliminary results of an above ground field test wherein eight naturally durable wood species were exposed concurrently at two sites in North America. Surface samples were taken at regular intervals from non-durable controls and compared to their more durable counterparts. Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism was performed to characterize the microbial (bacteria, fungi, and basidiomycetes) communities present. Differences were noted among wood species and seasonal shifts in microbial diversity were noted at both sites. Attempts to correlate diversity indices with decay ratings were unsuccessful, but differences in species richness were noted for several of the naturally durable species. Western red cedar had significantly fewer bacterial species compared to other wood species. Fungal and basidiomycete species richness differed due to site and fungal species richness increased with increased exposure. Clustering of fungal and basidiomycete communities suggests seasonal patterns of colonization at both sites, but was more defined in the more southern site; Saucier, MS (MS). Future analyses will focus on comparison of years to model successional patterns of bacteria, fungi, and basidiomycetes.