Impacts of weatherization on indoor fungal communities
1, Ashkaan Fahimipour1, Jeff Kline1
,2, Alejandro Manzo1, Dale Northcutt2, Jason Stenson2, Hannah Wilson1, Ryann Crowley3, Erica Hartmann4, Deborah Johnson-Shelton3, G.Z. Brown2
,1, Jessica Green1, Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg1
1Biology and the Built Environment Center, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA, 2Energy Studies and Buildings Laboratory, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA, 3Oregon Research Institute, Eugene, OR, USA, 4McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA
This study examined how weatherization and housing ventilation systems impact fungal microbial communities indoors. Weatherization (air-sealing) measures are intended to reduce energy use, but they may alter indoor microbial ecology through alteration of ventilation patterns and indoor environmental conditions. We evaluated a broad cohort of single-family detached dwellings in Portland, OR, to characterize climatic heterogeneity during two seasons of climate extremes (summer and winter). We quantified airborne microbial communities and traditional indicators of air quality using paired indoor/outdoor sampling at residential dwellings before and after weatherization of the building envelope. Health and behavior surveys were sent to participants before and after weatherization to understand how human interaction with weatherization and changing air composition (in terms of microbial ecology and air quality) impacted residential health. Preliminary results indicate that while there is variation of the indoor fungal communities with some measures of IAQ, there is not, however, an apparent gross effect of weatherization on indoor fungal communities. We find strong correlations between indoor and outdoor fungi, with most indoor community members sourced from outside the home. However, we see strong enrichments for certain taxa (e.g., Trametes versicolor) and exclusion of others: the indoor communities are compositionally and structurally distinct from outdoor communities in predictable ways. Additionally, we see strong seasonal effects on both indoor and outdoor fungal communities. Analysis incorporating the health and behavioral survey data is ongoing.