Protection of wood in contact with sea water


Practical investigations concerning the protection of wood in contact with sea water

Marine organisms like shipworm can destroy wood used in sea water whereas fungi can degrade this timber above sea water level. Thünen-Institute will investigate these wood pests in order to develop long lasting non-biocidal protection measures.

Background and Objective

Wood exposed in seawater can be degraded especially by shipworm. Wooden constructions made of non-durable timber in port areas or for coastal protection can be destroyed within a short time by these organisms. In Germany treated timber is hardly used in marine environment due to ecological concerns.

However also above waterline wood protection measures have to be taken into account primarily against wood destroying fungi.

Aim of these investigations is to adjust wood protection measures depending from the occurrence of wood destroying organisms in order to enable the utilization of indigenous timber in combination with an adequate service life


One part of the project is the identification of fungi causing damages on harbour and hydraulic wooden constructions. In addition wood moisture and analytical measurements (regarding the salt content) will be carried out in pilot scale. These results and biological tests concerning the efficacy of sea salt should allow the assessment of the probability of a fungal attac. Beside this the suitability of larch heartwood in combination with structural measures will be tested.


A summary will be provided as soon as the final report is published.


Funding Body

  • German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU)
    (national, öffentlich)


11.2015 - 6.2018

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: finished