Godlewski, Emil

Godlewski, Emil


Born June 30, 1847, in the village of Krasocin; died Sept. 11, 1930, in Kraków. Polish plant physiologist and agricultural chemist.

Godlewski graduated from the University of Warsaw in 1869. He was a professor at the University of Kraków from 1878 to 1919 and chairman of a department at the Institute of Agriculture in Pulawy from 1919 to 1928. His major works dealt with photosynthesis in plants. He discovered its initial products as well as the dependence of photosynthesis on the concentration of carbon dioxide and the intensity of light. Observing the diurnal and noctural rhythm of growth movements in relation to the age of the plant, temperature, and degree of light, Godlewski proposed several theories on the mechanism of growth. He studied the respiration of plants and their absorption of and the movement in them of water, minerals, and other substances. He established that with the ripening of oily seeds and the formation of oil from carbohydrates, the respiratory coefficient reaches 4.75. He proved that in the process of nitrification carbon is assimilated from the C02 in air. Godlewski worked out a method for estimating the fertility of soil by analyzing the chemical composition of the plants grown in that soil. The principal results of Godlewski’s research are summarized in his work Reflections on the Physiology of Plants (vols. 1–2, 1923–33).


Hryniewiecki, B. “Emil Godlewski (1847–1930).” Rocznik Towa-rzystwa Naukowego Warszawskiego, 1932, issue 25, pp. 192–97.


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