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A short note on fungal decay in K33-treated poles
1982 - IRG/WP 1169
Soft rot cavities and erosion of the lumen have been found in K33-treated Pinus sylvestris poles from the years 1956-66 by microscopic studies. Poor treatment quality has been proved for some of these poles. The microscopy showed an unusual pattern of attack, and pre-treatment decay is suspected but not yet proved. Sounding the poles and using the Pilodyn indicated decay, but poking did not. Quantification of the attacks was possible only by microscopic studies.
H Friis-Hansen


Ultrastructural observations on wood-degrading erosion bacteria
1986 - IRG/WP 1283
G F Daniel, T Nilsson


Micromorphology of the decay caused by Chondrostereum purpureum (Pers.:Fr.) Pouzar and Flammulina velutipes (Curt.:Fr.) Singer
1988 - IRG/WP 1358
Two basidiomycetes, Chondrostereum purpureum and Flammulina velutipes, form typical soft rot cavities in hardwoods and softwoods. Cavity formation is prececed by T-branching or bending of hyphae penetrating the wood cell walls. The two fungi also cause erosion of the wood cell walls.
T Nilsson, G F Daniel


Degradation of the normal fibre walls of rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis) by the tropical blue-stain fungus Botryodiplodia theobromae
1998 - IRG/WP 98-10286
Rubberwood was examined by light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) after exposure to the common tropical sapstain fungus Botryodiplodia theobromae for four weeks to study hyphal colonisation of wood cells and to determine if this fungus also degraded lignified normal fibre cell walls in addition to the walls of non-lignified elements. Light microscopy revealed relatively large diameter hyphae to be abundantly present in parenchyma cells. The hyphae were also present in other types of wood cells, including fibres. TEM provided evidence of fibre wall degradation in the normal rubberwood in the form of lumen wall erosion (type-2 soft rot decay). These observations suggest that the ability of B. theobromae to degrade lignified wood cells walls should be viewed with concern when utilising rubberwood which has been severely sapstained, particularly after prolonged exposure to this fungus.
A A H Wong, A P Singh


Decay types observed in small stakes of pine and Alstonia scholaris inserted in different types of unsterile soil
1990 - IRG/WP 1443
The attack of various wood-degrading microorganisms occurring in mini-stakes of pine and Alstonia scholaris buried in various types of unsterile soil was studied. Attacks by white rot, brown rot, soft rot, erosion bacteria, tunnelling bacteria and actinomycetes were found. Soft rot occurred in all soils, whereas attack by white rot and especially brown rot and erosion bacteria was rare. The type of soil influenced the occurrence of attack by tunnelling bacteria and actinomycetes. The former were mainly associated with horticultural soils whereas the latter were associated with soils from coniferous forests.
T Nilsson, G F Daniel


A light and electron microscopic study of decayed CCA-treated radiata pine (Pinus radiata) wood from a cooling tower
1994 - IRG/WP 94-10056
An inspection of an industrial cooling tower in New Zealand showed surface decay of 12 year old Pinus radiata wood panels treated with CCA preservative to a retention of around 15 kg/m³ of salt. Wood decay micromorphology typical of that caused by soft rot fungi, white rot fungi, 'stripy' and 'v-shaped' erosion bacteria and cavitation bacteria were all commonly seen using a light microscope (LM). Some evidence of the presence of tunnelling bacteria was also seen but was not as common. Soft rot was largely absent from the wettest regions sampled such as spray-line supports and side panels in close proximity to the spray lines, and erosion bacteria attack was the predominant type in these areas. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed that unusual patterns largely consisting of troughs, depression and granulations in wood cell walls, were in most instances, almost certainly caused by erosion bacteria, but in others, tunnelling bacteria were also present. Several decay patterns seen under light microscope as matrices of fine troughs parallel and perpendicular to the cellulose microfibres were difficult to characterise in terms of previous classification but were also thought to have been caused by erosion bacteria. The distinction made by previous classification between patternms formed by erosion and cavitation bacteria needed to be questioned on the basis of observations made. Whilst the TEM showed that erosion and tunnelling bacteria were often present in close association within the wood cell walls, light microscopy suggested that, in the majority of section examined, all the types seen were clearly seperated by regions of undegraded cell wall. The observations underscore the importance of erosion bacteria in wood decay under the conditions of a cooling tower where in-service timbers are kept constantly wet by the spray from water sprinklers. Also of significance is the great diversity of decay types seen, in particular the presence of cavitation bacteria and white rot fungi has not previously been recorded for high retention CCA treated cooling tower timbers.
A P Singh, R N Wakeling, D R Page


Microbial decay of an archaeological wood
1994 - IRG/WP 94-10053
A light and transmission electron microscopic investigation of an archaeological wood was undertaken to determine the cause of its deterioration. The wood came from a bulwark constructed in early 1100 in the lake Tingstäde Träsk on the island Gotland in Sweden. The samples of the wood, which was identified as Pinus sylvestris, were taken from a depth of 0.85 m below the bottom level. The wood was found to be heavily deteriorated, and from the micromorphology of decay observed under light and transmission electron microscopes it was concluded that the wood had been largely attacked by erosion bacteria. The degradation of wood components was quite variable, some cell structures/types showing greater resistance than others. The S2 wall layer of axial tracheids, which formed the bulk of the wood, was degraded most. In comparison, ray tracheids appeared completely resistant. Other cell structures/types, such as pit borders of axial tracheids and ray parenchyma cells, displayed features that were intermediate between the extremes noted above. These features are discussed in the light of available information on bacterial erosion of wood cell walls and on chemical composition of these cell structures/types in pine wood.
A P Singh, T Nilsson, G F Daniel


Micromorphological and chemical changes of archaeological woods from wrecked ship's timbers
1987 - IRG/WP 4136
Micromorphological and chemical alterations of sea-waterlogged woods obtained from the ship-wrecked materials which had been submerged in Yellow Sea for over 700 years were investigated. The woods were deteriorated in varying degrees by marine organisms depending on species and parts of the woods. Under the light and scanning electron microscope the morphological characteristics of deteriorated woods were granular in appearance, erosion troughs in S3, separation of secondary wall from compound middle lamella and hole formation. Destruction occurred preferentially in S2 layer, followed S3 and middle lamella which was hardly deteriorated. Chemical analysis showed that lignin was more and holocellulose was less in the degraded than in the normal wood. The ratio of extracts by alkaline compared to hotwater and that of holocellulose were also markedly lower. These results suggest that microorganisms decomposing carbohydrates were the primary agents causing deterioration of sea-waterlogged woods.
Y S Kim


Simulation and Investigation of Wood Degradation by Erosion Bacteria in Laboratory Experiments
2010 - IRG/WP 10-20431
A Microcosm experiment was successfully set up to establish, monitor and manipulate bacterial wood degradation under low oxygen conditions. Sound pine sticks were placed in waterlogged sediment from a heavily decayed pine pile foundation site in Amsterdam. The system was subject to different gassing treatment regimes in order to investigate the role of oxygen in the bacterial degradation process of wood. In different treatments, microcosm head space was aerated with air, air + O2 or N2. As a fourth treatment the air aeration was combined with a vertical water circulation through the whole Microcosm. Some Microcosms were equipped with oxygen sensors (optodes) to measure the oxygen concentration during the experiment in different depths. Wood degradation was microscopically detected and a classification for low decay intensities was developed. It was found that bacterial wood degradation occurred in all treatments detectable after 150 days. The fastest rate of decay developed in 120 days and was most intense in the water circulated treatment. The used approach was successful in simulating bacterial wood degradation under reproducible laboratory conditions. The presented set up can be used as a base for further investigations regarding optimal living conditions of and preservation strategies against erosion bacteria. Further investigations, especially long-term experiments, are necessary to understand the complex interaction of the bacterial wood degradation. Therefore, it is important to test preservation strategies in the laboratory before using it in the real environments, which will be possible with such an experimental design.
J Gelbrich, E I Kretschmar, N Lamersdorf, H Militz


Confocal laser scanning microscopy of a novel decay in preservative treated radiata pine in wet acidic soils
1997 - IRG/WP 97-10215
Light microscopy of radiata pine (Pinus radiata D. Don) field test stakes (20x20x500mm3) exposed in wet acidic (pH 3-4) soil for 12 - 24 months showed predominance of an unusual type of decay characte-rised by tunnelling attack of wood cell walls. After two years decay was moderate to severe in wood treated to ground contact CCA specifications and also equivalent retentions of creosote, and a number of new generation preservatives. Relative to other New Zealand temperate test sites and also an Australian tropical site, the New Zealand acidic soil test site was very aggressive. Correlative scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) were used to elucidate the micromorphology of this attack. Tunnels of diameter 0.2-5 µm were present throughout all layers of the cell wall, and their orientation was not related to cellulose microfibril orientation. They also showed no preference for particular cell wall layers, indicating a lignin degrading capability. CLSM images showed that living, connecting fungal hyphae were present in the cell lumina and tunnels. This type of attack was predominant in wood that was highly saturated with water whereas wood that was less moist was predominantly attacked by classical white rot. Ongoing isolation and incubation studies in conjunction with further microscopy should enable identification of the fungal species involved.
R N Wakeling, Ying Xiao, A P Singh


Effect of acetylation on decay resistance of wood against brown-rot, white-rot and soft-rot fungi
1989 - IRG/WP 3540
Effect of acetylation on decay resistance of wood was investigated using wood blocks of Cryptomeria japonica, Pinus densiflora, Albizia falcata and Fagus crenata. Blocks were treated with uncatalyzed acetic anhydride for different lengths of time and exposed to Tyromyces palustris, Serpula lacrymans, Coriolus versicolor and unsterilized soil. The action of OH-radical on acetylated wood was also examined using Fenton's reagent. The enhancement of decay resistance by acetylation was revealed clearly for all cases of exposures but varying with fungal and wood species used. For a brown-rot fungus Tyromyces palustris, the weight loss reached almost nil in all woods at 20 WPG (weight percent gain) of acetylation, after the striking decrease from 10 to 15 WPG. For a white-rot fungus Coriolus versicolor, it was counted until 12-15 WPG in the perishable hardwoods used, but not in a softwood Cryptomeria japonica, even at 6 WPG. In cases of another brown-rotter Serpula lacrymans and soil burial, effect of acetylation was intermediate between Tyromyces palustris and Coriolus versicolor. Anti-degradation mechanism by acetylation was discussed, from these weight loss - weight gain relationships, and the IR-and 13C-NMR spectral analyses of fungus-exposed wood.
M Takahashi, Y Imamura, M Tanahashi


Field trial with poles of Scots pine treated with six different creosotes
1996 - IRG/WP 96-30115
In the middle of the 50's field trials with creosote-treated poles were started in France, Germany and Sweden. The trials were initiated by WEI (Western-European Institute for Wood Preservation). Six different creosotes were used and 40 poles per creosote were installed at each test field. Results after 39 years of exposure in Simlangsdalen, Sweden are reported. Poles treated with a heavy creosote were less decayed than poles treated with medium-heavy creosotes. Poles treated with a light creosote were most decayed.
Ö Bergman


Questionnaire - Fungal decay types
1985 - IRG/WP 1265
T Nilsson


JWPA method for testing effectiveness of surface coatings with preservatives against decay fungi
1981 - IRG/WP 2164
In 1979 JWPA established a new method for testing effectiveness of surface coatings in accordance with practical use of preservative-treated lumber. Comparing the new testing method with JIS A 9302, a few new trials - size of wood specimen, weathering procedure, and decay-test procedure - are incorporated.
K Tsunoda


Utilization of curcumin for detection of presence of boron in wood
1982 - IRG/WP 3191
It has been shown that curcumin is not a reliable reagent for detecting boron in wood that has been attacked by fungi
M-L Edlund


Co-operative studies on determining toxic values against wood-destroying Basidiomycetes: Progress report to May 1989
1989 - IRG/WP 2339
This document reports progress on the co-operative study between nine laboratories set up following the proposals contained in Document IRG/WP/2316. Results have been received from two laboratories. Toxic values data have been established successfully using the test fungus Coniophora puteana but problems have been encountered with the other test fungi.
A F Bravery, J K Carey


Monographic cards for wood-destroying fungi. [Fiches monographiques pour les champignons lignivores]
1970 - IRG/WP I 5B
C Jacquiot


On Donkioporia expansa (Desm.) Kotl. & Pouzar
1986 - IRG/WP 1285
Donkioporia expansa is found more often in houses than realised until now. Virulence tests according to EN 113 show not only an attack of oak, but also of other hardwoods and even soft-woods.
G Buchwald


Nondestructive Evaluation of Oriented Strand Board Exposed to Decay Fungi
2002 - IRG/WP 02-20243
Stress wave nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technologies are being used in our laboratory to evaluate the performance properties of engineered wood. These techniques have proven useful in the inspection of timber structures to locate internal voids and decayed or deteriorated areas in large timbers. But no information exists concerning NDE and important properties of wood composites exposed to decay fungi. For our pilot study on several types of wood composites, we examined the relationship between nondestructive stress wave transmission, decay rate and the bending properties of OSB exposed to the brown-rot fungus, Gloeophyllum trabeum (MAD-617). The following measurements were taken: stress wave transmission time (pulse echo test method), static bending test (ASTM D3043-95), and decay (expressed as percent weight). Stress wave measurements correlated with strength loss and with increasing rate of fungal decay. Stress wave NDE has great potential as a method for inspection of wood composite load-bearing (in-service) structures, detection of decay in laboratory tests, assessment of chemical additives to improve wood composite durability, and prediction of long term composite performance.
B Illman, V W Yang, R J Ross, W J Nelson


Moisture content levels and decay of hemlock
1986 - IRG/WP 1287
As a model of decay conditions of wooden members in wooden houses, a decay test was set up in which samples of western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) under 4 moisture levels were examined. Each week the samples were weighed and if the weights indicated that their moisture contents were lower than the expected levels, distilled water was added. Every 8 weeks 3 samples from each condition were oven dried at 60°C for 48 hours, up to 48 weeks. After 48 weeks, 3 samples from each condition were oven dried every 16 weeks. The results obtained were as follows: After examining the samples for 96 weeks at 27°C, the mean weight loss of the hemlock samples kept at about 50-100% moisture content level was larger than those of the other levels. If the samples were dried every 8 weeks, the amount of decay in them was not significant. Decay was also not significant in the samples kept at approximately 20-30% moisture content level.
K Suzuki


Dimensional stability and decay resistance of hot-melt self-bonded particleboard by surface benzylated pine chips
1991 - IRG/WP 3652
Akamatsu (Pinus densiflora Sieb. et Zucc: Japanese red pine) particles were pretreated with 40% NaOH solution and benzylated with benzyl chloride, and the surface of particle was converted into meltable materials. Hot-melt self bonded particleboard having smooth and high glossiness surface was prepared by hot pressing at 150°C and 1.96 MPa without using any conventional adhesives. Dimensional stability and decay resistance of the benzylated particleboard were evaluated. Particleboards made of benzylated particles having more than 38% of weight percent gain (WPG) showed that dimensional stability and decay resistance were superior to the conventional particleboard made by using phenolformaldehyde resin as a binder, because hydroxyl groups of wood were substituted by hydrophobic benzyl groups with benzylation. Though bending strength of the board was a little lower than control board due to the damage of benzylated particles during benzylation, its internal bonding strength was very high, because the hot-melting strengthened the inter-particle bonding.
M Kiguchi, K Yamamoto


How to Document the Performance of Super-Critical Treated Wood in above Ground Situations?
2005 - IRG/WP 05-20316
The paper presents practical experiences from the preparation of a new preservative treated wood product for introduction to the market. The product in question is Superwood™, which is treated with organic biocides using CO2 in a supercritical state as a solvent. The question is how to evaluate the performance of a new product such as Superwood™ in order to get an acceptance on the market and fulfil the formal requirements. In the European Union countries, the EN 599-1 is the standard that needs to be complied when approving a new product for the market, but it only focuses on the toxic limit against representative decay fungi according to EN 113. However, decay test, above ground and other forms of field tests are optional, this is not in line with the traditional test philosophy in the Scandinavian countries. The open question is to which extent treatment to the level of the toxic threshold value also ensures a long service life and expected performance of the treated commodity. Superwood™ is evaluated using a strategy, in which basic laboratory tests are done to get the toxic value (according to EN 599-1) and in addition a number of field tests are done including accelerated testing in the tropics. These tests are focussed on the evaluation of the performance criteria such as durability and service life and maintenance requirements. These questions must be answered by the producer without having a full record of performance test for their new products. A short status on the test performed on super-critical treated wood (Superwood™) is presented. Based on a comparison between field test in Scandinavia and in the tropical Malaysia a service life of more than 25 years for a specific supercritical treated product is estimated. It is stated that the existing European standardisation system is insufficient when it comes to service life prediction. A number of important questions need to be addressed by the European standardisation system as soon as possible because the market and the public opinion change quickly due to environmental concern.
N Morsing, A H H Wong, F Imsgard, O Henriksen


Types of decay observed in CCA-treated pine posts in horticultural situations in New Zealand
1984 - IRG/WP 1226
The few reported failures of 11-12-year-old horticultural posts in New Zealand in 1982 were caused by brown-rot. A subsequent survey of CCA-treated posts in all the major horticultural areas has revealed decay of many posts. A microscopic examination of these posts has shown decay by brown-rot, white-rot, soft-rot and bacteria. Several types of bacterial decay have been observed.
J A Drysdale, M E Hedley


Soft rot in CCA-treated utility poles in Sweden
1989 - IRG/WP 1398
Soft rot investigations of CCA-treated utility poles (Pinus sylvestris L.) have been conducted throughout large parts of Sweden during 1974-1985. The investigation included 179 utility poles of the State Power Board which had been used for 10-18 years in the different administrative regions from northern to southern Sweden. In addition, 193 telephone poles from the Östersund area and 218 from the Kristianstad area were studied after having been in use for 18-25 years. The soft rot fungi cause two types of attack in wood cells, namely cavities (Type I) and erosion (Type II). In this investigation, soft rot is reported only when cavities of Type I were found. Erosion (Type II) is more difficult to observe, particularly in early stages, and in addition is almost impossible to distinguish from certain other attacks of rot, such as white rot, which may have occurred during storage of the poles before impregnation. In western and central Sweden, minor attacks of soft rot were found after 10-12 years in State Power Board poles embedded in soil in arable land and meadows. Power Board poles in northern Sweden had minor attacks of soft rot after 16-18 years in arable land and also in forest land when embedded in soil. Poles used by the Telecommunications services, all embedded in stone, showed minor and only occasional attacks of soft rot at Östersund (northen Sweden), but considerably more soft rot at Kristianstad (southern Sweden). The Telecommunication poles had been in service up to seven years longer than the poles used by the State Power Board. The localization and spread of soft rot attacks in a pole can vary. There may be many reasons for this, including insufficient impregnation, leaching, etc. The soft rot attacks found in the Power Board poles are always minor and sporadic and none of the investigated poles can be said to imply any safety risk. The same applies to the Telecommunication poles at Östersund whereas those at Kristianstad demonstrated considerably more severe and more frequent attacks. The attacks of soft rot in the Telecommunication poles more frequently occurred internally, more often deeper in the sapwood than in the outermost parts.
H Friis-Hansen, H Lundström


Fungal and bacterial attack of CCA-treated Pinus radiata timbers from a water-cooling tower
1991 - IRG/WP 1488
Transmission electron microscopy of decaying CCA-treated Pinus radiata timbers from an industrial water cooling tower showed presence of a thick biofilm covering some areas of the wood. The biofilm contained various morphologically distinct forms of microorganisms embedded in a slime. The study provided evidence of the activity of soft rot fungi and tunnelling and erosion bacteria in wood cells. The extent of damage to wood cells due to microbial activity varied, combined fungal and bacterial attack having the most damaging impact.
A P Singh, M E Hedley, D R Page, C S Han, K Atisongkroh


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