August Thienemann

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August Friedrich Thienemann (born September 7, 1882 in Gotha , † April 22, 1960 in Plön ) was a zoologist and ecologist . His most important works dealt with the ecological relationships in inland waters , due to which he is considered the founder of limnology .

Live and act

August Thienemann studied natural sciences and philosophy at the universities in Greifswald , Innsbruck and Heidelberg from 1901 to 1905 . He completed his doctorate in Heidelberg with Robert Lauterborn .

From 1907 Thienemann became head of the biological department for fisheries and wastewater issues at the Zoological Institute of the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster , where he carried out his well-known research on the maars of the Eifel . As a result of these studies he constructed the theory of the different lake types and explained the dependence of aquatic organisms (in his case, mosquito larvae of the genera Chironomus and Tanytarsus ) on the environmental conditions in the lake. After the outbreak of World War I , he was seriously wounded by shrapnel in September 1914 near Reims. After his recovery he was accepted into the military administration in 1915. Also in 1915 he completed his habilitation on the investigation of northern German lakes. In 1917 he was appointed professor of zoology at the University of Kiel . From 1928 to 1929 he took part in the German Limnological Sunda Expedition, which produced extensive new results in the limnology of the tropics. As head of the Hydrobiological Institute , which was initially an institution of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society and later became the Max Planck Institute for Limnology in Plön , he worked until his death in 1960.

Thienemann's research, especially on the nutritional relationships of the various groups of organisms in lakes, is one of the foundations for the development of modern, system-oriented ecological research at the beginning of the last century. For example, the well-known distinction between groups of organisms in an ecosystem in producers , consumers and reducers goes back to Thienemann. These concepts worked well beyond limnology.

August Thienemann's estate is in the archive of the Max Planck Society .

Honors and memberships

  • 1932 member of the Leopoldina
  • 1943 Naumann Medal . He was the first to receive this highest award from the SIL, which was later also named after Thienemann (Naumann-Thienemann Medal)
  • 1952: Cross of Merit (Steckkreuz) of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Large Federal Cross of Merit

Works and work

A total of 459 titles are named in its publication directory.

  • 1906 Planaria alpina on Rügen and the Ice Age - 10th Jber. D. Geogr. Ges. Z. Greifswald, pp. 1-82.
  • 1909 B. Farwick, F. Schröder, A. Thienemann: Report on the botanical and zoological excursions to the Weißenstein near Hohenlimburg and to the Glörtalsperre on September 25th and 26th, 1909. - S.-B. naturhist. Ver. prussia. Rheinl. Westf., E 1909: 94-101.
  • 1910 The sequence of things: the attempt at a natural system of natural bodies from the 18th century ; Zoological Annals Würzburg 3 , 185-274.
  • 1911 Hydrobiological and fishing studies on Westphalian reservoirs. - Z. wiss. Agriculture, 41: 535-716. Steglitz. 371.
  • 1911 The pollution of the Ruhr in the summer of 1911 , in: Journal for Fisheries and their auxiliary sciences 16 (1912), pp. 55–86.
  • 1912 The mountain stream of the Sauerland. Faunistic-Biological Investigations. - Int. Rev. Ges. Hydrobiol. Biol./ Suppl. 4: 1-125. Leipzig.
  • 1915 The Chironomid fauna of the Eifelmaare ; Negotiations of the Natural History Association of the Prussian Rhineland and Westphalia 71 .
  • 1918 Studies on the relationship between the oxygen content of the water and the composition of the fauna in northern German lakes "; A. Hydrobiol. 12 , 1–65.
  • 1923 History of "Chironomus" research from Aristotle to the present day ; Deutsche Entomologische Zeitung, 515-540.
  • 1925 The inland waters of Central Europe ; Stuttgart.
  • 1926 Limnology introduction to the biological problems of freshwater research Hirt, Breslau 1926.
  • 1927 research trips and the system of biology ; Zoologische Anzeiger 73 , 245-253.
  • 1928 The oxygen in the eutrophic and oligotrophic lake ; The inland waters 4 , Stuttgart.
  • 1931 The concept of production in biology ; Arch. Hydrobiol. 22 , 616-622.
  • 1931 Tropical lakes and lake types - Arch. Hydrobiolol. Suppl. 9 , Tropical Inland Waters 2 , pp. 205-231.
  • 1939 Basics of a General Ecology ; ibid 35 .
  • 1941 Life and Environment ; Leipzig.
  • 1951 On the use and abuse of waters in a cultivated land ; Arch. Hydrobiol. 45 , 557-583.
  • 1952 Water and bodies of water in nature and culture ; Yearbook of the Max Planck Society, 185–222.
  • 1954 life units ; Treatises of the natural science association Bremen 33 , 303–326.
  • 1955 The Inland Waters: An Introduction to Theoretical and Applied Limnology ; Understandable Science 55 , Berlin, Heidelberg and Jena.
  • 1956 Life and the Environment: The Total Budget of Nature ; Hamburg.
  • 1956 The inland waters ; Stuttgart.
  • 1959 memories and diary sheets of a biologist; A life in the service of limnology ; Stuttgart.


  • August Thienemann in memoriam et honorem on the occasion of his 100th birthday on September 7, 1982 . - Stuttgart: Swiss beard, 1982.
  • Friedrich Lenz (Ed.): Festband August Thinemann  : for his 60th birthday, dedicated by his friends. - Stuttgart: Swiss beard, 1945.
  • GH Schwage, Lars Brundin: August Thienemann in Memoriam , in: Oikos Vol. 12, Fasc. 2, pp. 310-319 (1961).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Internet site ( memento from December 19, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) of the archive of the Max Planck Society.
  2. Member entry by August Thienemann at the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina , accessed on November 12, 2015.