Samples of a hardwood containing primarily coniferous (guaiacyl) lignin
and hardwoods and softwoods with normal amounts of guaiacyl and syringyl
lignin were degraded by the white-rot fungus Coriolus versicolor
(L. ex Fr.) to assess the influence of type and amount of lignin
on rate of decay. Lignin and carbohydrate losses were compared for
the woods at various degrees of weight loss. The hardwood with coniferous
lignin was degraded in a manner similar to the softwoods, indicating
that the type of lignin is more a factor in the slower rate of C.
versicolor decay of softwoods than is the amount of lignin, or the
anatomical structure itself.
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