Accumulation of oxalic acid (OA) by brown-rot fungi and precipitation of copper oxalate crystals in wood decayed by copper-tolerant decay fungi has implicated OA in the mechanism of copper tolerance. Understanding the role of OA in copper tolerance is important due to an increasing reliance on copper-based wood preservatives. In this study, four copper-tolerant brown- rot fungi were evaluated for decay capacity and OA production in early stages of exposure to four waterborne copper-based wood preservatives (ammonical copper quat type B and D, ammonical copper citrate, and chromated copper arsenate, type C) and one oilborne copper-based wood preservative (oxine copper) in southern yellow pine blocks. Weight losses were less than 14% during the 4-week incubation. The presence of copper in waterborne preservatives uniformly stimulated OA production by the test fungi within 2 weeks of exposure of the treated blocks to test fungi; 66% to 93% more OA was produced in treated blocks than untreated controls. Oxine copper, a nickel-containing oilborne preservative, prevented both weight loss and OA production in all fungi tested.
Clausen, Carol A.; Green, Frederick. 2003. Oxalic acid overproduction by copper-tolerant brown-rot basidiomycetes on southern yellow pine treated with copper-based preservatives. International biodeterioration & biodegradation. Vol. 51 (2003): Pages 139-144