fungi: classificationFungus classificationCommon fungi in buildings
Fungi in building can be grouped, according to their damage to materials and environments, into moldy fungi and decay fungi. Moldy fungi grow on surfaces and cause discoloration and the "moldy" smell of typical moist houses. They can grow in milder conditions (relative humidity as low as 75% and temperature between 5 to 45ˇăC). Common molds are gray mold (Botrytis), pin molds (Rhizopus sp.), gray and blue molds (Penicillium, Aspergillus).
Decay fungi can grow into materials and consume the organic matters including the microscopic structures of the material. Common decay fungi of wood and wood products include brown-rots, white-rots and soft-rots. Decay fungi normally requires very wet conditions and higher temperatures (95% relative humidity and temperature 20-40ˇăC).
The following table lists some fungi species of different categories related to building studies.
Table 2. Common types of moldy and decay fungi in buildings
Fungi group or species
Coniophora puteana (Cellar fungus), Fibriopoia vaillantii (Poria), Meruliporia incrassata, Fomitopsis palustris, Fomitopsis palustris, Antrodia carbonica, Gloeophyllum trabeum, Neolentinus lepideus, Postia placenta, Tapinella panuoides
Donkioporia expansa (Stringy Oak rot), Flammulina velutipes, Phanerocheate chrysosporium, Shizophyllum commune, and Trametes versicolor
Chaetomium globosum, Paccilomyces variolli, Phialocephala dimorphospora, Phialophola mutabilis, Scytalidium liqnicola;
Water conducting, i.e. dry-rot
Serpula lacrymans, Meruliporia (Poria) incrassata
Airborne pathogenic fungi
Aspergillus, Absidia, Rhizopus, Mucor, Cryptococcus neoformans, Histoplasma capsulatum, Blastomyces dermatitidis, Coccidioides immitis, Penicillium sp., Alternaria, Cladosporium, Helminthosporium, Stachybotris.
Fungi with most frequent spores in the outdoor air
Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Penicillium and Alternaria
Frequent indoor fungi
Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus favas, Chaetomium globosum, Oidium lactis, Phytophtora infestans, Fusarium caerluleum, Penicilium glaucum, Penicilium notatum, Penicilium brevicompactum, Penicilium expansus, Sphaerrolitis, Lauconostoc, Phoma Exigue Foevata.,
Fungi on masonry
Cladosporium, Phoma, Alternaria and Aureobasidium, (grow on the deposits of dead algae and other organic matter)
Fungi on paints
Pullularia pullulans (blue stain on paint coat, break down of the oil resins)
Common molds are gray mold (Botrytis), pin molds (Rhizopus sp.), gray and blue molds (Penicillium, Aspergillus).
Sources: Croan, 1997b; Green et al., 1997; Douglas and Stirling, 1997; Fischer et al., 1999; Gornes, 1995; Richardson, 1995
Mycology classification of fungi
Molds belong to the Fungi Kingdom, which includes also yeast, mildews, mushrooms and others (Margulis and Schwartz, 1988).
Classification schemes for fungi used by mycologists have been under continued development and adaptation with the advance in the field. Information on detailed classification can be found in Hawksworth et al. (1994), Miller and Farr (1990), and Kendrick (1992).
Levels of biological classification within fungus Kingdom: Kingdom, Phylum (Division), Subdivision, Class Order, Family, and Species.
Fungus Kingdom is classified at several levels: Division, subdivision, class, order, family and finally species (Figure 7). In publications related to buildings, only the species and subdivision are mentioned, such as Aspergillus species in Ascomycotina or Penicillium in Basidiomycotina. Most of the building molds and fungi belong to Ascomycotina Basidiomycotina and Deuteromycotina (Fungi Imperfecti) subdivisions, all of which belong to division Amastigomycota (fungi whose spores do not swim).
See References for mold and fungi studies for a list of the related references.
[Source: J. Rao, 1999]
fungi and its place in nature
fungi: life cycle of
fungi: health effect
molds as visible part of fungi
Encyclopeadia Britannica reference of fungi
Encyclopeadia Britannica definitions related to fungi
Mycotoxins in water damaged buildings
Fungus, mold: web sites
Mycology and Building Mycology
Essay: References for mold and fungi studies
Source: J. Rao 1999
Taxonomic Classification and Nomenclature
Evolution of Scientific classification
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