A survey of bacterial colonisation of historic limestone buildings: Lincoln Cathedral and St. Peter at Gowts, United Kingdom

Skipper, Philip and Skipper, Lynda (2014) A survey of bacterial colonisation of historic limestone buildings: Lincoln Cathedral and St. Peter at Gowts, United Kingdom. In: Rehab 2014 – Proceedings of the International Conference on Preservation, Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings and Structures. Green Lines Institute, pp. 1003-1012. ISBN 9789898734020

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A survey of bacterial colonisation of historic limestone buildings: Lincoln Cathedral and St. Peter at Gowts, United Kingdom
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Abstract

Built heritage may be at risk from the effects of biofilms (a microbial community encapsulated in a matrix of sugars, protein and DNA). Some microbes in biofilms damage stone surfaces and cause staining. Although biofilm research has been carried out in Mediterranean regions, few studies cover temperate Northern Europe climates, or the UK. This research concentrates on bacterial colonization of limestone, a building material that is highly vulnerable to many agents of deterioration. We recorded environmental conditions on damaged and undamaged stone at two Lincoln sites, and sampled surfaces for bacteria. A correlation between low surface pH and damage was observed. Some bacteria cultured were able to acidify their environment, which may have a significant contribution to loss of limestone through acidic decay mechanisms. As well as increasing our knowledge in a currently under-researched area of environmental microbiology, this study provides valuable information for the conservation of historic buildings.

Keywords:Bacteria, Biofilms, Heritage buildings, Conservation
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K250 Conservation of Buildings
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (Heritage)
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ID Code:17633
Deposited On:12 Jun 2015 07:49

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