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Evaluation of microbial degradation of shipwrecks in the Baltic Sea

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Charlotte Björdal
Publicerad i International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation
Volym 70
Sidor 126-140
ISSN 0964-8305
Publiceringsår 2012
Publicerad vid Institutionen för kulturvård
Sidor 126-140
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibiod.2012.01....
Ämnesord archaeology bacteria, conservation sicence, degradation, soft rot fungi, marine , microorganisms, shipwreck, wood
Ämneskategorier Mikrobiologi, Arkeologi

Sammanfattning

Unique historical shipwrecks in the Baltic Sea are exposed to continuous decay by specialised wood-degrading microorganisms. In this comprehensive literature study, current knowledge on microbial degradation in aquatic environments is synthesised and adapted to a cross-disciplinary context, to further understanding of the ongoing decay processes in shipwreck timbers today. Soft-rot fungi and erosion bacteria are the two most active groups of wood degraders. Their decomposition of the wood surface and interior are described, discussed, and finally compared with the available data from examined shipwrecks found in the Baltic Sea. The rate of decay depends on several parameters, such as wood species, environmental factors, duration of exposure (age of object), sediment protection, and physical damage. More consistent predictions on the longevity of wrecks are dependent on future research on the ecology of the microbes, combined with investigations of the historical wrecks themselves. This research is essential for successful in-situ protection and long-term preservation of significant historical shipwrecks.

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