Selected properties of beech wood degraded by brown-rot fungus Coniophora puteana
Research subject and fields:
This paper reveals the alteration of selected physical and chemical properties of non-tension beech wood exposed to short- and medium-term degradation by the brown-rot fungus Coniophora puteana. The fungus caused a gradual mass loss and a significant decrease in wood density by the decay progression. Biodegradation increased the contents of polar extractives in wood markedly, it caused a substantial removal of cellulose and it relatively increased the contents of lignin in wood. The above mentioned alterations of beech wood were reflected in an expressively increased rate of wood/water interactions, influenced its permeability and the rate of surface swelling. Wood colour turned to brown, and its lightness was reduced after 60-day degradation. The chemical analyses, VIS and FTIR spectra confirmed significant chemical changes of beech wood.