Wood Chemistry PSE 406. Decay. Introduction to Deterioration. Plant matter is constantly under attack by fungi, insects, bacteria, marine borers and the weather. It is estimated that roughly 1/10 of the forest products generated each year are destroyed. . PSE 406 Emphasis.
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Cross section of an oak tree with white rot.
The fungus has decayed the sapwood and
dark heartwood turning it white.
Scanning electron micrograph showing the
hypha of a white rot fungus.
A cross section of wood from a white-pocket
area of decayed wood showing delignified
Scanning electron micrograph of brown-rotted wood.
Only slight pressure causes the wood cell walls to
crumble into minute fragments.
Wood cracks and checks into cubicle pieces.
Soft rot in wood often appears brown
and can be confused with decay
caused by brown rot fungi.
This micrograph taken of a section from soft-rotted wood
and viewed with a light microscope shows cavities
within the cell walls.