Alfred Möller (forest scientist)

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Alfred Möller (born August 12, 1860 in Berlin ; † November 4, 1922 in Eberswalde ) was a German forest scientist . He founded the idea of permanent forests and was the pioneer of an ecological turnaround in German forestry .


Möller studied at the Höhere Forstlehranstalt in Eberswalde and did his doctorate in Münster . This was followed by a three-year study visit to Brazil , which Möller used for research on tropical mushrooms. From 1899 Möller taught as a professor at the Eberswalde Forest Academy and was its director from 1906 to 1921. In Eberswalde he founded a recognized mushroom institute. During this time he got to know the forest of Freiherr Friedrich von Kalitsch in Fläming.

In Kalitsch's method of cultivating the forest, he saw evidence of his thesis of permanent forest, developed through his mushroom studies. He intensively investigated the Kalitsch Forest in Bärenthoren for a decade and published the results in two publications. His permanent forest writing is the answer to unobjective, personal and aggressive reactions of the established professional world to his theses. He did not live to see the success of his work in publishing because he died of sudden cardiac death. Möller's dismissal from the management of the previously independent Forestry Academy through an organizational act in 1921 may have been the cause of his death at the age of 62.

Alfred Dengler , a declared opponent of Möller's view of the forest, was appointed as his successor . Dengler immediately closed the mycological institute founded by Möller, at that time the largest and most respected of its kind in Europe. The holistic orientation of the chair has been discontinued. From then on, the forestry training center in Eberswalde primarily conveyed the established doctrine of the so-called age group forest, which is now, without being contradicted, assessed as unstable forestry, low-income and ecologically impoverished. Möller's idea of ​​a permanent forest, however, has become topical again due to the problems caused by climate change, since permanent forests are assessed by current research as particularly climate-plastic due to their variety of tree species, structures, dimensions and their natural regeneration resulting from natural sowing.

The idea of ​​permanent forest as the guiding principle of natural forest management

Möller is considered to be the founder of the permanent forest movement and a mentor of natural forest management or " near-natural forest management ". With his idea of ​​a self-organizing “forest organism”, he triggered the “permanent forest dispute” that continues to this day. Möller saw the bat in the commercial forest only as a fruit and the forest in its entirety as the producing organism that needs to be constantly protected and cared for. Accordingly, in the foreword of his work, The Permanent Forest Thought , he called for "wood farming". d. H. to end the age group forest and no longer focus on the “big sister agriculture” in forestry, d. H. agriculture, to orient. Ultimately, this meant a complete questioning of the entire forest sciences of his time - and in parts even to this day. Accordingly, he called for the continuity of the forest system to be strictly observed as a guiding principle in forest management, i.e. H. In particular, clear-cut forest management, individual tree use, stock maintenance of standing trees and constant maintenance of the soil through tree species mix, natural regeneration and continuous forest cover.

His views are now considered to be clearly superior, both scientifically and in forest management practice, since mycology has now also provided the most impressive evidence of this. Last but not least, the Nobel Prize winner James Lovelock - apparently without knowing Möller's theses - developed similar ideas on a global scale with the Gaia hypothesis , which u. a. confirmed and current by climate change. Möller is still misunderstood by parts of forest science and practice, e.g. B. by equating his demand for “continuity” in the forest with the concept of sustainability. He is also denigrated because his view of the forest is still not in line with the reductionist forest image of silvicultural science and practice. Nonetheless, the few private forest companies that have followed his demands since the 20-30s are today the most profitable, stable and naturally rich commercial forests in Germany.


  • The trade journal of the natural forest management in Germany, published by the ANW , bears the name “the permanent forest” coined by Möller and introduced in the specialist literature.
  • In 2011, the forest owner and NABU forest spokesman Eckehardt Wenzlaff founded the first German permanent forest foundation in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania , which has set itself the goal of promoting the concept of permanent forests in the training and practice of public forest companies.
  • The mushroom genus Moelleriella , which belongs to the ergot mushroom relatives , was named after him by Giacomo Bresadola in honor of Alfred Möller in 1897. The species-rich genus, with its main distribution in the tropics, specializes in infecting scale insects. The fruiting body completely overgrows the infested insects and forms small, often yellow or white fruiting bodies .
  • A street was named after him in Eberswalde.


  • Alfred Möller: The permanent forest thought, its sense and its significance , J. Springer Verlag, in Wilhelm Bode: annotated reprint of the original from 1922 (Oberteuringen 1992)
  • Alfred Möller: The mushroom gardens of some South American ants , in: Botanische Mittheilungen aus den Tropen , Issue 6, G. Fischer Verlag, Jena 1893
  • Alfred Möller: Brazilian mushroom flowers , in: Botanische Mittheilungen aus den Tropen , Heft 7, G. Fischer Verlag, Jena 1895
  • Alfred Möller: Phycomycetes and Ascomycetes. Studies from Brazil , G. Fischer Verlag, Jena 1901


  • Gerhard Hofmann: Alfred Möller - Guide to the future of the forest. Laudation on the occasion of the 150th birthday on August 12, 2010 . Archive f. Forestry and Landscape ecol. 44 (2010) 3, 137-141.
  • Ottomar Greger: Thoughts on the development of forest ecology on the basis of the permanent forest concept . Archive f. Forestry and Landscape ecol. 45 (2011) 4, 160-173.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b c Alfred Möller: The permanent forest thought, its sense and its importance , J. Springer Verlag, in Wilhelm Bode: annotated reprint of the original from 1922 (Oberteuringen 1992)
  2. cf. u. a .: National strategy on biological diversity , adopted by the Federal Cabinet on November 7, 2007
  3. so z. B. the Brandenburg Forest Association in several articles in: Landeskompetenzzentrum Forst Eberswalde (LFE), publisher: Natural forest management - permanent forest today? , Eberswalder Forstliche Schriftenreihe Volume 46, Eberswalde 2010
  4. so z. B. Carsten Wilke, the head of the Hessian forest administration at the conference on the return of Möller's 150th birthday in his address at his place of work in Eberswalde on August 12, 2010; Quoted from:  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  5. cf. z. B. Albrecht Milnik: The life of Alfred Möllers 1860-1922 , Eberswalde 2001