Department of Microbiology, University College, Newport Road, Cardiff.
ORIGINS OF DECAY IN LIVING DECIDUOUS TREES: THE ROLE OF MOISTURE CONTENT AND A RE-APPRAISAL OF THE EXPANDED CONCEPT OF TREE DECAY
Article first published online: 2 MAY 2006
Volume 94, Issue 4, pages 623–641, August 1983
How to Cite
BODDY, L. and RAYNER, A. D. M. (1983), ORIGINS OF DECAY IN LIVING DECIDUOUS TREES: THE ROLE OF MOISTURE CONTENT AND A RE-APPRAISAL OF THE EXPANDED CONCEPT OF TREE DECAY. New Phytologist, 94: 623–641. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.1983.tb04871.x
- Issue published online: 2 MAY 2006
- Article first published online: 2 MAY 2006
- Accepted 24 March 1983
It is argued that the development of decay in living hardwoods can best be explained in terms of the unsuitability of functional sapwood for mycelial establishment owing to its high moisture content and lack of easily assimilable nutrients other than within living cells. Decay occurs when these limitations are removed by any mechanisms which prevent or interfere with the normal functioning of sapwood. Recent concepts of decay in living trees have implied an active host defence against infection. This view is discussed against the alternative that non-specific mechanisms which maintain sapwood function will, by their very nature, prevent establishment of -ycelium of decay and stain fungi. The significance of mixed microbial communities in the development of decay is discussed, particularly in relation to the supposed requirement for specific sequences to overcome host defences.