Primary bioreceptivity of limestones used in southern European monuments
Ana Z. Miller, Nuno Leal, Leonila Laiz, Miguel A. Rogerio-Candelera, Rui J. C. Silva, Amélia Dionísio, Maria F. Macedo, Cesareo Saiz-Jimenez, 2010. "Primary bioreceptivity of limestones used in southern European monuments", Limestone in the Built Environment: Present-Day Challenges for the Preservation of the Past, B. J. Smith, M. Gomez-Heras, H. A. Viles, J. Cassar
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Different Mediterranean Basin limestones, like Calcário Ançã (Portugal), Calcário Lioz (Portugal), Piedra San Cristobal (Spain), Piedra Escúzar (Spain) and Pietra di Lecce (Italy), have been widely used as building materials in the European architecture. The aim of this study was focused on biodeterioration, mainly on evaluation of the primary bioreceptivity of those materials. A set of samples was inoculated with a cultured photosynthetic biofilm under laboratory conditions. Several assessment tools were applied to monitor the colonization overtime of the different lithotypes. After 3 months of incubation the colonization occurred endolithically in some lithotypes, namely Piedra San Cristobal and Piedra Escúzar. Spectrophotometric determination of chlorophyll a was a useful analytical technique to achieve the total amount of photosynthetic biomass on rock substrates, demonstrating that Piedra Escúzar and Calcário Lioz were the highest and lowest bioreceptive lithotypes, respectively. Microscopic and image analyses were essential to understand the stone colonization process and its pattern of distribution. Physical stone parameters and exposure conditions were shown to play an important role in the establishment and development of photosynthetic colonization.