Early Detection of Brown Rot Decay in Douglas-Fir and Southern Yellow Pine by Infrared Spectrophotometry


  • David G. Gibson
  • Robert L. Krahmer
  • Rodney C. DeGroot


Douglas-fir, southern yellow pine, brown not, infrared analysis, strength loss


Samples of Douglas-fir heartwood and southern yellow pine sapwood were incubated with several brown rot rungi and examined for decomposition as shown by weight losses (to 10%). Warm-water extracts from the samples were analyzed by infrared spectrophotometry. An absorption peak at 1,720 cm-1 appeared in infrared spectra of decayed specimens but was not present in nondecayed specimens. As weight loss increased, the ratio of the absorbance at 1,720 cm-1 to the absorbance at 1,630 cm-1 increased. The ratio correlated with days of incubation and modulus of rupture.


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