Studies into Fungal Decay of Wood in Ground Contact—Part 2: Development of a Dose–Response Model to Predict Decay Rate

2021 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Studies into Fungal Decay of Wood in Ground Contact—Part 2: Development of a Dose–Response Model to Predict Decay Rate​
Marais, B. N.; van Niekerk, P. B. & Brischke, C. ​ (2021) 
Forests12(6) pp. 698​.​ DOI: 

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Marais, Brendan Nicholas; van Niekerk, Philip Bester; Brischke, Christian 
In this article a dose–response model was developed to describe the effect of soil temperature, soil moisture content, and soil water-holding capacity, on the decay of European beech (Fagus sylvatica) wood specimens exposed to soil contact. The developed dose–response model represents a step forward in incorporating soil-level variables into the prediction of wood decay over time. This builds upon prior models such as those developed within the TimberLife software package, but also aligns with similar modeling methodology employed for wood exposed above ground. The model was developed from laboratory data generated from terrestrial microcosm trials which used test specimens of standard dimension, incubated in a range of soil conditions and temperatures, for a maximum period of 16 weeks. Wood mass loss was used as a metric for wood decay. The dose aspect of the developed function modelled wood mass loss in two facets; soil temperature against wood mass loss, and soil water-holding capacity and soil moisture content against wood mass loss. In combination, the two functions describe the wood mass loss as a function of a total daily exposure dose, accumulated over the exposure period. The model was deemed conservative, delivering an overprediction of wood decay, or underprediction of wood service-life, when validated on a similar, but independent dataset (R2 = 0.65). Future works will develop similar models for outdoor, field-trial datasets as a basis for service-life prediction of wooden elements used in soil contact.
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Fakultät für Forstwissenschaften und Waldökologie ; Burckhardt-Institut ; Abteilung Holzbiologie und Holzprodukte 
Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft
Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft
Horizon 2020
Open-Access-Publikationsfonds 2021



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