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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 20, 2021

Mapping the biotic degradation hazard of wood in Europe – biophysical background, engineering applications, and climate change-induced prospects

Philip B. van Niekerk ORCID logo, Brendan N. Marais, Christian Brischke, Luisa M.S. Borges, Magdalena Kutnik, Jonas Niklewski, David Ansard, Miha Humar ORCID logo, Simon M. Cragg and Holger Militz
From the journal Holzforschung

Abstract

Construction using timber has seen a resurgence in light of global climate mitigation policies. Wood is a renewable resource, and engineered wood products are proving to be competitive against concrete and steel while having several advantages. However, while the renewable nature of wood in construction is a beneficial property for climate mitigation policies, the process of biodegradation introduces a challenge for service life planning. A review of hazard mapping is presented while developing contemporary hazard maps, occurrence maps and projected hazard maps for 2050 using representative concentration pathways (RCP) 2.6 and 8.5. The risk of timber decay is expected to increase in most of Europe as the temperatures rise, with a decrease expected in dryer regions. Termites are likely to experience a range expansion as more areas become suitable, while human activity and an increase in extreme weather events like floods are expected to facilitate dispersion. Marine borer species already present a risk in most European coastal regions; however, the effect of changes in water temperatures are likely to shift the boundaries for individual borer species. Overall, warmer climates are expected to increase the metabolic activity of all of these organisms leading to a general reduction in service life.


Corresponding author: Philip B. van Niekerk, Wood Biology and Wood Products, University of Goettingen, Buesgenweg 4, D-37077 Goettingen, Germany, E-mail:

Funding source: Ministry of Education, Science and Sport (MIZS)—Slovenia

Funding source: The Ministry of the Environment (YM)—Finland

Funding source: The Forestry Commissioners (FC)—UK

Funding source: Research Council of Norway

Award Identifier / Grant number: 297899

Funding source: The French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) and The French National Research Agency (ANR)—France

Funding source: The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS), Swedish Energy Agency (SWEA), Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (Vinnova)—Sweden

Funding source: Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR)—Germany

Funding source: European Union’s Horizon 2020

Award Identifier / Grant number: 773324

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: The first, third, fifth and sixth authors received funding in the frame of the research project CLICKdesign, which is supported under the umbrella of ERA-NET Cofund ForestValue by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport (MIZS)—Slovenia; The Ministry of the Environment (YM)—Finland; The Forestry Commissioners (FC)—UK; Research Council of Norway (RCN, 297899)—Norway; The French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) and The French National Research Agency (ANR)—France; The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS), Swedish Energy Agency (SWEA), Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (Vinnova)—Sweden; Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR)—Germany. ForestValue has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement no. 773324.

  3. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this article.

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Received: 2021-08-19
Accepted: 2021-10-20
Published Online: 2021-12-20
Published in Print: 2022-02-23

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