Biodeterioration of limestone built heritage: a multidisciplinary challenge

Skipper, P. J. A., Schulze, H., Williams, D. R. and Dixon, R. A. (2016) Biodeterioration of limestone built heritage: a multidisciplinary challenge. In: Science and art: a future for stone. Proceedings of the 13th International Congress on the Deterioration and Conservation of Stone. University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, pp. 139-146. ISBN 9781903978573

Biodeterioration of Limestone Built Heritage: A Multidisciplinary Challenge

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Built heritage is at risk from the effects of bacterial species within biofilms (a microbial community encapsulated in a matrix of complex sugars, protein and DNA). Some microbes in biofilms can damage stone surfaces and cause discolouration. Although biofilm research has been carried out in Mediterranean regions, few studies cover temperate Northern Europe climates, or the UK oceanic climate. In a previous study we recorded env ironmental conditions of damaged , with deterioration of the worked surface to greater than 10mm depth, and undamaged limestone at fifteen sites across two locations in Lincoln, UK, and sampled surfaces to detect biofilm associated bacterial species. A correlation between low surface pH and damage was observed, and bacterial species were isolated from the samples using media which would select for species which could survive in a wide range of conditions and identified at the genetic level. The isolated bacteria from that study have been tested for their ability to dissolve limestone, as well as resistance to commonly used biocides. We have identified species which, within our dataset, are solely or predo minantly associated with damaged limestone and also tested positive for dissolution of limestone. Many of these species have been previously associated with biodeterioration in studies from Tropical and Mediterranean climates. Our present study has also id entified them as being able to rapidly recolonise biocide treated areas (within 48 hours). 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:Microbiology, Biofilm, Heritage, Limestone, Biodeterioration, bmjtype
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K250 Conservation of Buildings
C Biological Sciences > C500 Microbiology
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (Heritage)
College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:23895
Deposited On:04 Sep 2016 19:56

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