Mapping the biotic degradation hazard of wood in Europe – biophysical background, engineering applications, and climate change-induced prospects

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

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​Mapping the biotic degradation hazard of wood in Europe – biophysical background, engineering applications, and climate change-induced prospects​
van Niekerk, P. B.; Marais, B. N.; Brischke, C.; Borges, L. M.; Kutnik, M.; Niklewski, J. & Ansard, D. et al.​ (2021) 
Holzforschung76(2) pp. 188​-210​.​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hf-2021-0169 

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Authors
van Niekerk, Philip B.; Marais, Brendan N.; Brischke, Christian; Borges, Luisa M.S.; Kutnik, Magdalena; Niklewski, Jonas; Ansard, David; Humar, Miha; Cragg, Simon M.; Militz, Holger
Abstract
Abstract Construction using timber has seen a resurgence in light of global climate mitigation policies. Wood is a renewable resource, and engineered wood products are proving to be competitive against concrete and steel while having several advantages. However, while the renewable nature of wood in construction is a beneficial property for climate mitigation policies, the process of biodegradation introduces a challenge for service life planning. A review of hazard mapping is presented while developing contemporary hazard maps, occurrence maps and projected hazard maps for 2050 using representative concentration pathways ( RCP ) 2.6 and 8.5. The risk of timber decay is expected to increase in most of Europe as the temperatures rise, with a decrease expected in dryer regions. Termites are likely to experience a range expansion as more areas become suitable, while human activity and an increase in extreme weather events like floods are expected to facilitate dispersion. Marine borer species already present a risk in most European coastal regions; however, the effect of changes in water temperatures are likely to shift the boundaries for individual borer species. Overall, warmer climates are expected to increase the metabolic activity of all of these organisms leading to a general reduction in service life.
Issue Date
2021
Journal
Holzforschung 
Organization
Fakultät für Forstwissenschaften und Waldökologie ; Burckhardt-Institut ; Abteilung Holzbiologie und Holzprodukte 
ISSN
0018-3830
eISSN
1437-434X
Language
English

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