Chemical Characteristics of Teak Wood Attacked by Neotermes tectonae

Ganis Lukmandaru


The teak trees in certain areas of Java Island are frequently attacked by Neotermes tectonae termites. Trees attacked by this species have a tumor-like growth in the stem that can be easily identified in the field. This study evaluated the chemical properties of the attacked wood. Based on a visual inspection, the type of attacks were classified as either type I, if included phloem was formed in the heartwood, or type II, which was distinguished by the softened and hollowed areas in the heartwood. For each type, three trees were cut along with a healthy tree for comparison. Comparison among type I, type II, and normal tree tissues showed huge differences in hemicellulose and extractive contents, composition of ethanol-toluene soluble extracts, ash/acid insoluble ash contents, and pH values. Comparing the two types of abnormalities along the radial direction, significant differences were observed in the cellulose contents. The lowest values of both sugars were obtained in the soft part of type II. Further, the levels of ethanol-toluene soluble extracts and their fractions (mainly low-polarity fractions) were affected by the radial direction. No significant differences in radial direction were found in the inorganic materials levels or in pH values.


Tectona grandis; Neotermes tectonae; Wood chemistry; Tumorous wood; Extractives; Cell wall

Full Text: PDF

Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126