Hartig, Theodor

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Hartig, Theodor

(b. Dillenburg, Germany, 21 February 1805; d. Brunswick, Germany, 26 March 1880)

plant physiology, forestry, entomology.

Hartig, the son of the forester Georg Ludwig Hartig and Theodore Klipstein, spent his youth in Dillenburg and, after 1811, in Berlin. He received training in forestry in Mühlbach, Pomerania (now Poland), under the supervision of his uncle Friedrich K. T. Hartig. He continued his training in Brandenburg, and from 1824 to 1827 studied forestry under Friedrich W. L. Pfeil at the forestry institute of the University of Berlin. After graduating. Hartig was appointed Regierungs-Referendar in Potsdam (1831). He qualified as a lecturer in forestry at the University of Berlin and in 1835 was appointed to a nonsalaried professorship there. In 1838 he accepted a post in the forestry department of the Collegium Carolinum in Brunswick, where, simultaneously, he was promoted to Forstrat and made a member of the Imperial Leopoldine-Caroline Academy. After teaching at the Carolinum for many years, he retired in 1878 as Oberforstrat.

In 1837 Hartig established his reputation as an entomologist with the work Adlerflügler Deutschlands. Although he continued to concern himself with entomology in his subsequent textbooks, he more and more turned his attention to the field of plant physiology. In Neue Theorie der Befruchtung der Pflanzen (1842) he provided a survey of previous theories of plant fertilization and also presented his own views on the subject. In Über das Leben der Pflanzenzelle (1844) Hartig set forth his own nomenclature for the parts of the cell. It did not become the accepted terminology, but his attempt to describe the cell as a closed unit stimulated further investigations. In 1855 he discovered the aleurone nucleus and was the first to describe it as the basic component of cells.

Hartig’s later works were concerned with the physiology and anatomy of ligneous plants. In the new edition (1851) that he prepared of his father’s Lehrbuch für Förster, Hartig furnished the first exact description of the “descending sap flow,” a decisive contribution to contemporary knowledge of the metabolic processes involved.

Besides his entomological and botanical studies, Hartig occupied himself throughout his career with practical questions of forestry. In 1834, for example, he wrote with his father Forstliches und forstnaturwissenschaftliches Conversationslexikon. His Lehrbuch der Pflanzenkunde appeared between 1841 and 1847 and his Anatomie und Physiologie der Holzpflanzen in 1877. Hartig also considered certain aspects of commercial forestry in several of his writings and undertook particularly profitable investigations in this area.


I. Original Works. Forstliches und forstnaturwissenschaftliches Conversationslexikon (Berlin, 1834), written with G. L. Hartig; Die Adlerflügler Deutschlands mit besonderer Berücksichtigung ihres Larvenzustandes und ihres Wirkens in Wäldern und Gärten (Berlin, 1837); Neue Theorie der Befruchtung der Pflanzen (Brunswick, 1842); Beiträge zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der Pflanzen (Berlin, 1843); Das Leben der Pflanzenzelle, deren Entstehung, Vermehrung und Auflösung (Berlin, 1844).

See also Vergleichende Untersuchungen über den Ertrag der Rothbuche im Hoch- und Pflanzenwalde, im Mittel- und Niederwald-Betriebe, nebst Anleitung zu vergleichenden Ertragsforschungen (Berlin, 1846, 1851); Lehrbuch der Pflanzenkunde in ihrer Anwendung auf Forstwirtschaft (Berlin, 1841-1847); Vollständige Naturgeschichte der forstlichen Culturpflanzen Deutschlands (Berlin, 1852); Kontroversen der Forstwirtschaft (1853), with no place of publication listed; Entwicklungsgeschichte des Pflanzenkeims, dessen Stoffbildung und Stoffwandlung während der Vorgänge des Reifens und Keimens (Leipzig, 1858); System und Anleitung zum Studium der Forstwirtschaftslehre (Leipzig, 1858); Über die Entwicklungsfolge und den Bau der Holzfaserwandung (Vienna, 1870); Anatomie und Physiologie der Holzpflanzen (Berlin, 1877); Jahresberichte über die Fortschritte der Forstwissenschaften in der forstlichen Naturkunde (1836-1837).

His new editions of works by G. L. Hartig include Lexikon für Jäger und Jagdfreunde, or Weidmännisches Conversationslexikon (Berlin, 1859); Kurze Belehrung über die Behandlung und Cultur des Waldes (Berlin, 1859); Lehrbuch für Förster (Stuttgart, 1877); and Lehrbuch für Jäger (Stuttgart, 1877).

II. Secondary Literature. An obituary of Hartig appears in Leopoldina, 16 (1880), 70-71. See also Richard Hess, “Theodor Hartig,” in Allgemeine Forst- und Jagdzeitung, 56 (1880), 153; Leben hervorragender Forstmänner (1885), 138-142; R. B. Hilf and F. Röhrig, Wald und Weidwerk in Geschichte und Gegenwart; R. B. Hilf, Der Wald, I (Potsdam, 1938), 258; Kurt Manthel, “Theodor Hartig,” in Neue Deutsche Biographie, VII, 713; Martin Möbius, Geschichte der Botanik (Stuttgart, 1968).

R. Schmitz

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