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Impact of Water Holding Capacity and Moisture Content of Soil Substrates on the Moisture Content of Wood in Terrestrial Microcosms

Wood Biology and Wood Products, University of Goettingen, Buesgenweg 4, D-37077 Goettingen, Germany
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Forests 2019, 10(6), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10060485
Received: 20 May 2019 / Revised: 27 May 2019 / Accepted: 30 May 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
Terrestrial microcosms (TMCs) are frequently used for testing the durability of wood and wood-based materials, as well as the protective effectiveness of wood preservatives. In contrary to experiments in soil ecology sciences, the experimental setup is usually rather simple. However, for service life prediction of wood exposed in ground, it is of imminent interest to better understand the different parameters defining the boundary conditions in TMCs. This study focused, therefore, on soil–wood–moisture interactions. Terrestrial microcosms were prepared from the same compost substrate with varying water holding capacities (WHCs) and soil moisture contents (MCsoil). Wood specimens were exposed to 48 TMCs with varying WHCs and MCsoil. The wood moisture content (MCwood) was studied as well as its distribution within the specimens. For this purpose, the compost substrate was mixed with sand and peat and its WHC was determined using two methods in comparison, i.e., the “droplet counting method” and the “cylinder sand bath method” in which the latter turned out advantageous over the other. The MCwood increased generally with rising MCsoil, but WHC was often negatively correlated with MCwood. The distance to water saturation Ssoil from which MCwood increased most intensively was found to be wood-species specific and might, therefore, require further consideration in soil-bed durability-testing and service life modelling of wood in soil contact. View Full-Text
Keywords: decay; ENV 807; soft rot test; soil moisture content; use class 4 (UC4) decay; ENV 807; soft rot test; soil moisture content; use class 4 (UC4)
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Brischke, C.; Wegener, F.L. Impact of Water Holding Capacity and Moisture Content of Soil Substrates on the Moisture Content of Wood in Terrestrial Microcosms. Forests 2019, 10, 485.

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