Rapid testing of resistance of timber to biodegradation by marine wood-boring crustaceans

Lucy S. Martin, J. Reuben Shipway, Marc A. Martin, Graham P. Malyon, Mou Akter, Simon M. Cragg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wood-boring invertebrates rapidly destroy marine timbers and wooden coastal infrastructure, causing billions of dollars of damage around the globe every year. As treatments of wood with broad spectrum biocides, such as creosote and chromated copper arsenate (CCA), are now restricted in marine use by legislation, naturally durable timber species and novel preservation methods of wood are required. These methods undergo testing in order to meet regulatory standards, such as the European standard for testing wood preservatives against marine borers, EN 275. Initial investigation of durable timbers species or wood preservative treatments can be achieved quickly and inexpensively through laboratory testing, which offers many advantages over marine field trials that are typically costly, long-term endeavours. Many species of Limnoria (gribble) are marine wood-boring crustaceans. Limnoria are ideal for use in laboratory testing of biodegradation of wood by marine wood-borers, due to the practicality of rearing them in aquaria and the ease of measuring their feeding rates on wood. Herein, we outline a standardizable laboratory test for assessing wood biodegradation using gribble.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number179
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2022


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