Since prehistoric times and throughout the course of human evolution, wood has been an integral part of all civilizations. Wooden Cultural Heritage can be found worldwide, providing valuable information on the social and economic context of human history. Nonetheless, as a natural cellulosic material, wood shows low resistance to biodeterioration and thus wooden Cultural Heritage often fails to escape decomposition in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. This book provides a comprehensive overview on the biodeterioration of wooden Cultural Heritage and describes the decay mechanisms of key organisms and microorganisms encountered in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Cultural Heritage professionals, researchers and academics may explore within this book the associations between deteriogens, habitats and decay, which will assist them to understand wood biodeterioration and design effective prevention, mitigation and remediation strategies. The book presents case studies around the world to demonstrate the impact of biogenic deterioration on wooden Cultural Heritage and illustrates mechanisms and patterns in order to be a useful handbook of decay diagnosis. Lastly, by adopting a holistic approach to wood decay, basic concepts of wood technology, ecology, and deteriogens’ biology are introduced, permitting readers of different scientific backgrounds to easily comprehend wood biodeterioration.
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