Adolf Stahlin

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Adolf Stählin (born October 13, 1901 in Nuremberg ; † September 20, 1992 in Wißmar near Gießen) was a German agricultural scientist . He taught in Jena, Hohenheim and Gießen and is considered one of the outstanding crop researchers of his time due to his varied activities in the fields of grassland studies , crop cultivation , fodder cultivation , feed evaluation and seed science .


Adolf Stählin comes from a well-known family of scholars. His father was the classical philologist Otto Stählin . In 1920 he passed the high school diploma at the humanistic grammar school in Erlangen and since 1920 got to know agricultural practice on farms in Swabia and Pomerania. From 1923 to 1926 he studied agriculture in Hohenheim and Munich . As a student of Ludwig Kießling , he received his doctorate in 1929 at the Technical University of Munich with the dissertationMorphological and cytological examinations on Gramineae ”.

As early as 1927, Stählin had taken over the control of seeds and feed at the State Institute for Plant Cultivation and Plant Breeding in Jena as assistant to the crop and grassland scientist Ernst Klapp . In 1942 he was appointed deputy director of the Institute for Crop Production at the University of Jena and all of the affiliated facilities. In 1944 he completed his habilitation with the thesis " Contributions to the determination of the cause of death of domestic animals and game ". In 1945 he was evacuated from Jena by the Americans who briefly occupied Thuringia.

In 1946, Stählin was able to continue his scientific career at the University of Hohenheim , where he worked for almost ten years at the Institute for Plant Cultivation and Plant Breeding headed by Walther Brouwer , most recently as an adjunct professor and department head. In 1956 he was appointed to the chair for grassland management and forage production at the University of Giessen as the successor to Arnold Scheibe . Here he worked until his retirement in 1970. In the last two decades of his life he was still doing research at his retirement home in Wißmar near Gießen.

Life's work

In Jena , in addition to his main activity in the fields of seed and feed control, Stählin has increasingly dealt with questions of grassland management in Thuringia since 1930 . In the following years he published several articles on the vegetation of cultivated grassland. Particularly noteworthy is the book “ Locations, Plant Associations and Services of Grassland ” (1936) published together with Ernst Klapp .

In Hohenheim (since 1946), Stählin's main research areas were, in addition to studies of seeds , the evaluation of grassland plants as animal feed and vegetation studies . A long-term collaboration with the geobotanist Heinz Ellenberg yielded valuable insights for agricultural plant sociology .

Together with Walther Brouwer , Stählin developed a “ Handbook of Seed Studies for Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry… ” in Hohenheim . The book, published in 1955, is still considered the authoritative standard work in the field of agricultural seed science. His book “ The Assessment of Feed ” (1957) was also created in Hohenheim , a compendium of over 800 pages on fodder plants, including findings from animal physiology.

Stählin reached the peak of his work at the University of Giessen (1956–1970). Here questions of grassland sociology and grassland management were the focus of his research. In addition, there were experimental investigations into the quality of grassland and forage plants. In addition, Stählin dealt with the texture of the scars on lawns. The lawn research center he set up at his institute in 1963 , a novelty in the world, developed into an international center for lawn research.

Stählin has also made groundbreaking publications in Giessen . Among other things, he published an identification key for legumes in the bloomless state (1960), a linguistic-historical study on the agricultural crops of Central Europe (1967) and an overview article on grassland in the landscape budget. His lecture on the occasion of the 375th anniversary of the University of Giessen on May 13, 1982 " Problems of Modern Agricultural Sciences " (published in 1984) is considered a notable contribution to current questions of land management .

honors and awards

Major works

  • Morphological and cytological examinations on Gramineae. Dissertation. Technical University of Munich 1929. Scientific archive for agriculture. Dept. A: Archive for Crop Production. Volume 1, 1929, pp. 330-398.
  • with Ernst Klapp: locations, plant communities and services of the grassland. Processed using the example of Thuringian meadows. Ulmer, Stuttgart 1936.
  • Determining the cause of death of pets and game. Fischer, Jena 1944 ( work of the Thuringian State Institute for Plant Production and Plant Protection. Issue 3).
  • Tasks and goals of grassland science. In: Journal for Arable and Plant Cultivation. Volume 91, 1949, pp. 120-133.
  • Instructions for assessing hay according to the DLG key. DLG, Frankfurt am Main 1953. 2nd edition 1961.
  • with Walther Brouwer: Handbook of Seed Studies for Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry. With an appendix for determining the most important agricultural seeds. DLG, Frankfurt am Main 1955. 2nd edition 1975.
  • Assessment of the feed. In: Handbook of agricultural testing and investigation methodology. Volume 12, part 2. Neumann, Radebeul, Berlin 1957.
  • with Oskar Schweighart: Widespread plant communities of permanent grassland, fields, gardens and vineyards. BLV, Munich 1960.
  • The arable and grassland legumes in the flowerless state. Identification key. DLG, Frankfurt am Main 1960.
  • The agricultural crops of Central Europe in the European languages. DLG, Frankfurt am Main (special issue 4 of the magazine Das Wirtschaftseigene Futter )
  • The grassland in the landscape budget. In: Konrad Buchwald, Wolfgang Engelhardt (Hrsg.): Handbook for landscape maintenance and nature protection. Volume 2. Bayerischer Landwirtschaftsverlag, Munich 1968, pp. 176–202.
  • Green forage and hay. In: Max Becker, Kurt Nehring (Hrsg.): Handbuch der Futtermittel. volume 1. Parey, Hamburg, Berlin 1969, pp. 1–177.
  • Problems of Modern Agricultural Sciences. In: Oberhessische Naturwissenschaftliche Zeitschrift. Volume 48, 1984, pp. 29-41.


  • Ernst Klapp: Adolf Stählin's 60th birthday. In: New Results of Forage Production Research. Festschrift for the 60th birthday of Prof. Dr.-Ing. A. Stahlin. DLG, Frankfurt am Main 1961, pp. 4-7 (with picture).
  • Dieter Bommer: Adolf Stählin for his 65th birthday. In: The farm's own feed. Volume 12. 1966, pp. 305-307 (with picture).
  • Gerhard Voigtländer: Adolf Stählin's 70th birthday. In: Journal for Arable and Plant Cultivation. Volume 134. 1971, pp. 89-92 (with picture).
  • Peter Boeker: Professor Dr. Dr. hc Adolf Stählin on his 75th birthday. In: Journal for cultural technology and land consolidation. Vol. 17. 1976, pp. 307-308.
  • H. Schulz: Prof. Dr. Dr. hc Stahlin 90 years. In: Turf - Turf - Gazon. Vol. 23, H. 1. 1992, pp. 29-30 (with picture).
  • W. Opitz von Boberfeld: In memoriam Adolf Stählin. 1901-1992. In: The farm's own feed. Volume 38, 1992, pp. 153-154 (with picture).