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Wood in wet environments is attacked and degraded by soft rot fungi and erosion and tunnelling bacteria, which are more tolerant to high moisture and reduced oxygen conditions than basidiomycetes, such as white and brown rot fungi. Since wood decaying basidiomycete fungi are normally more aggressive and can degrade wood faster than soft rot fungi and bacteria, wood in wet environments can survive for a relatively long time. Archaeological investigations show that wood buried deep in ocean sediments can survive for hundreds and even thousands of years. In this review degradation patterns of various types of microbial wood decay are briefly described, and examples of decay type(s) in wood exposed in various wet environments presented. It is important to understand biological wood decay in wet environments in order to find appropriate ways to prolong woodʼs service life and properly restore wooden artefacts.


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