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  • Author or Editor: Mi Young Cha x
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The bacterial decay of waterlogged archeological wood (WAW, hard pine spp.) taken from Daebudo shipwreck No. 2, which was buried in the intertidal zone in the mid-west coast (Yellow sea) of South Korea approximately 800 years ago, was investigated. The maximum moisture content of the outer parts (approx. 3 cm of depth) of WAW was approximately 4.2 times higher than that of undegraded reference pine wood. ATR-FTIR and solid-state 13C-NMR analysis indicated a relative increase of the lignin concentration in WAW caused by the degradation of cellulose and hemicelluloses across the board studied (31-cm-wide and 14.5-cm-thick board). Micromorphological studies also revealed that bacterial degradation was progressed to a depth of 15 cm (vertically 7.3 cm) from the surface, which is the innermost part of the board. Erosion bacteria (EB) were identified as the main degraders of WAW. Degradation by tunneling bacteria (TB) was occasionally detected. Decay resistance to bacterial attacks in WAW varied between cell types and between cell wall regions. Axial tracheids showed less resistance than ray tracheids, ray parenchyma cells, and axial intercellular canal cells, including strand tracheids, subsidiary parenchyma cells, and epithelial cells. Decay resistance was higher in ray tracheids and strand tracheids than in ray parenchyma cells and subsidiary parenchyma-/epithelial cells, respectively. Bordered- and cross-field pit membranes and the initial pit borders showed higher decay resistance than the tracheid cell walls. Overall, the S2 layer of the axial tracheids showed the weakest resistance to bacterial attacks.

In: IAWA Journal