Martin Ewald Wollny

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Wollny, Martin Ewald


Born Mar. 20, 1846, in Berlin; died Jan. 8, 1901, in Munich. German agronomist, soil scientist, physicist; one of the founders of scientific agronomy.

Wollny graduated from the agricultural academy in Proscau (Silesia). He began to teach at the University of Leipzig in 1870. In 1872 he became a professor at the Munich Higher Technical School, where he was in charge of the experimental field and the agricultural laboratory. Attaching great importance to the influence of the physical properties of the soil on fertility, Wollny did extensive research on soil temperature and moisture, aggregation, and capillary phenomena. He studied the physical changes brought about in soil by the activity of cultivation and by crops. He investigated the organic matter in soil, the texture and structure of soil, and the effect of climate on soil and on crop productivity. Wollny demonstrated the inseparable connection between the dynamics of the physical properties of soil and its fertility. This was the particular value of Wollny’s work because J. Liebig’s theory was prevalent in the scientific agronomic circles of that time. Liebig held that soil fertility was related exclusively to the chemical processes at work in a given soil. Wollny was one of the founders of agronomical physics. He published the journal Forschungen aufdem Gebiete der Agrikulturphysik (Research in the Field of Agricultural Physics) from 1878 to 1890.


Der Einfluss der Pflanzendecke und Beschattung aufdie physikalis-chen Eigenschaften und die Fruchtbarkeit des Bodens. Berlin, 1877.
Mitteilungen aus dem landwirtschaftlichen Laboratorium der technischen Hochschule in Munchen, vols. 1-2. Munich, 1879.


A. D. “Martin Eval’d Vol’ni.” Vestnik sel’skogo khoziaistva, 1901, no. 12.
Ramann, E. “Martin Eval’d Vol’ni.” Pochvovedenie, 1901, vol. 3, no. 2.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.