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How Does Wood Decay Start?
Snapshot: How do fungi rot wood? Using new tools, fluorescent dye attached to tiny beads, and laser confocal microscopy, Forest Service scientists were able to follow oxidation on a microscopic level. The information is helping them zero-in on the chemicals fungi use to start decay, and they are applying the knowledge to improve wood preservation.
The dots are microscopic beads and the lines are fungal hyphae. The beads turn from red to green when exposed to oxidation. Notice that the bead next to the fungus is more green than the others. USDA Forest Service.