Ecological studies of fungi growing on isolated wood

Morton, Leslie Hugh Glyn (1974) Ecological studies of fungi growing on isolated wood. Doctoral thesis, University of Aston.

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The widespread occurrence of thermophilous microfungi on wood is reported.. Imported timber, in-service timber joinery and wood employed in colonization experiments were sampled and a list of cellulolytic fungi including thermophilous
and soft rot fungi is submitted.
The influence of insolation on the temperature-and moisture ranges in wood was investigated. Temperatures up to 160C above ambient were recorded as a result of insolation and data is submitted on the diurnal temperature cycle in a block of
wood undergoing insolation. It is recorded that colour had no significant effect upon the moisture content of insolated wood in soil èontact.
Using a simple moisture gradient apparatus the surface growth and penetration of thermophilous fungi were investigated at above ambient temperatures, showing that thermophilous fungi could grow at the surface and within beech veneers at moisture levels below the 20% minimum recorded in the literature, it is considered that the biological activity of water is increased at above ambient temperatures.
The effect of constant, alternating and fluctuating temperatures on the growth of microfungi was investigated. A temperature cycle simulator was devised producing a diurnal cycle similar to that occurring in insolated wood. Addition, stimulation and retardation of growth were recorded as a result of temperature alternation, whilst evidence is submitted that some thermophilous wood inhabiting-microfungi were better adapted to temperature fluctuations than mesophilic forms.
Interaction studies between pairs of wood inhabiting microfungi were undertaken at above ambient temperature and under conditions of fluctuating temperature. Evidence that metabolic products influence interactions is offered, and that under
âanditions of fluctuating temperature thermophilous fungi can play a significant role in ecological sequences. -
Preliminary experiments into the tolerance of cellulolytic thermophilous microfungi to wood preservatives indicate that they, were more tolerant to preservatives at above ambient temperature than at 250C.

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