Microbial ecology as a key for increased service life of wood constructions
Wood is an environmental friendly carbon neutral material with a great potential in a sustainable economy. However, for outdoor applications the service life of wood is limited and any extension of this is of importance for increasing construction longevity and its function as a carbon sink. Traditionally wood was treated with heavy metals including arsenium and chrome but these methods are now replaced with less toxic salts or alternative methods. Wood is microbially degraded, primarily by fungi but bacteria may be important, especially in the interaction with fungi. Many observational studies have been conducted on temporal succession host differentiation of the fungal communities while studies of bacteria are rare. Here, we will use latest new generation sequencing technique for testing hypotheses concerning microbial communities in test sites where succession, differentiation among wood species and wood treatments will be studied. The test sites are unique since they have been maintained on a long-term basis. The results will be interesting from both a curiosity driven scientific point of view as well from an applied side. Concerning the applied side, it important to study what effect different treatments have on the microbial community. Do they have similar communities but a delayed succession or are certain fungi and bacteria excluded from some treatment? This information is crucial when the wood treatments that we will use in the future will be chosen.