Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (371.0 KB bytes)

Title: The use of gas-sensor arrays in the detection of bole and root decays in living trees: development of a new non-invasive method of sampling and analysis

Author: Baietto, Manuela; Aquaro, Sofia; Wilson, Dan; Pozzi, Letizia; Bassi, Danieli;

Date: 2015

Source: Sensors & Transducers

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Wood rot is a serious fungal disease of trees. Wood decay fungi penetrate and gain entry into trees through pruning cuts or open wounds using extracellular digestive enzymes to attack all components of the cell wall, leading to the destruction of sapwood which compromises wood strength and stability. On living trees, it is often difficult to diagnose wood rot disease, particularly during extreme weather conditions when trees can fail, causing tree parts to fall onto people and property. Today, tree stability evaluation and inner decay detection are performed visually and by the use of commercial instruments and methods that are often invasive, timeconsuming and sometimes inadequate for use within the urban environment. Moreover, most conventional instruments do not provide an adequate evaluation of decay that occurs in the root system. A long-term research project, initiated in 2004, was aimed at developing a novel approach for diagnosing inner tree decays by detecting differences in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by wood decay fungi and wood from healthy and decayed trees. Different commercial electronic noses (ENs) were tested under laboratory conditions and directly in the field, on healthy and artificially-inoculated stem wood chips, and root fragments. The first stage of the research was focused on testing different commercially available electronic noses (e-noses) for the capabilities of discriminating between different strains and species of wood decay fungi as well as sapwood belonging to different tree species. In the second stage, sapwood of different tree species was artificially inoculated with decay fungi to test the diagnostic ability of the e-noses to detect differences in aroma bouquets emitted by healthy and inoculated woods. Root fragments were then inoculated with specific root decaying fungi and incubated under different types of soils to assess whether soil odors could influence the ability of the e-nose to discriminate between non-inoculated and diseased root fragments. For the final stage, soil air was evaluated for the presence of VOCs released by root-decaying fungi on diseased standing trees cultivated in the urban

Keywords: Electronic nose, Decay detection, Urban forestry, VOCs, Tree

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Baietto, Manuela; Aquaro, Sofia; Wilson, A. Dan; Pozzi, Letizia; Bassi, Daniele 2015. The use of gas-sensor arrays in the detection of bole and root decays in living trees: development of a new non-invasive method of sampling and analysis. Sensors & Transducers 193(10):154-160. 7 p.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.