Recolonization of mortars by endolithic organisms on the walls of San Roque church in Campeche (Mexico): A case of tertiary bioreceptivity

Año Publicación:  2014
Responsable: V. Jurado et al.
Journal, Volumen y páginas:
Construction and Building Materials, 53, 348–359


V. Jurado, A. Z. Miller, S. Cuezva, A. Fernandez-Cortes, D. Benavente, et al.


San Roque church (Campeche, Mexico) was built at the end of the 17th century with a micritic limestone and lime mortar in baroque style. In 2005 the church exhibited heavy biodeterioration associated with the development of extensive dark green phototrophic-based biofilms. Several cyanobacteria belonging to the order Chroococcales and lichenized fungi (Toninia nordlandicaLobaria quercizans, Lecanora subcarnea, Cystocoleus ebeneus) were predominant in the dark biofilm samples, as revealed by DNA-based molecular techniques. In 2009, a cleaning and restoration intervention was adopted; however, after few months, microbial recolonization started to be noticeable on the painted church walls, representing an early phototrophic-based recolonization. According to molecular analysis, scanning electron microscopy observations and digital image analysis of cross sections, new phototrophic-based colonization, composed of cyanobacteria and bryophytes, developed mainly beneath the restored mortars. The intrinsic properties of the mortars, the tropical climate of Campeche and the absence of a biocide treatment in the restoration protocol influenced the recolonization of the church façades and enhanced the overall rate of deterioration in a short-term period.

Keywords: Biodeterioration, Biofilm, Cyanobacteria, Tertiary bioreceptivity, Recolonization, Mortar

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