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August Johann Georg Karl Batsch (28 October 1761 – 29 September 1802) was a German
naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecul ...
. He was a recognised authority on
mushrooms A mushroom or toadstool is the fleshy, spore )'', growing on a thinned hybrid black poplar ''(Populus x canadensis)''. The last stage of the moss lifecycle is shown, where the sporophytes are visible before dispersion of their spores: the ...

mushrooms
, and also described new species of
fern A fern (Polypodiopsida or Polypodiophyta ) is a member of a group of vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , from Greek τραχεῖα ἀρτηρία ''trācheia art ...

fern
s,
bryophytes Bryophytes are an informal group consisting of three divisions Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics) Division is one of the four basic operations of arithmetic, the ways that numbers are combined to make new n ...

bryophytes
, and
seed plants The spermatophytes (; ), also known as phanerogams (taxon Phanerogamae) or phaenogams (taxon Phaenogamae), comprise those plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to E ...
.


Life and career

Batsch was born in
Jena Jena (; ) is a German city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Rou ...

Jena
,
Saxe-Weimar Saxe-Weimar (german: Sachsen-Weimar) was one of the History of Saxony, Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine duchies, Ernestine branch of the House of Wettin, Wettin dynasty in present-day Thuringia. The chief town and capital was Weimar. The Weimar ...
to George Lorenz Bratsch and Ernestine (''nee'' Franke) Bratsch. He studied at the Jena City School, and then had private tuition. He showed an aptitude for natural sciences and drawing, and so subsequently studied medicine and philosophy at the University of
Jena Jena (; ) is a German city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Rou ...

Jena
(now known as the
Friedrich Schiller University of JenaFriedrich may refer to: Names *Friedrich (surname)Friedrich or Friedrichs is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: Friedrich * Johannes Friedrich, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria * Ariane Friedrich, German high ...
), entering in 1772 and obtaining his
doctorate A doctorate (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republ ...

doctorate
in philosophy in 1781 and in medicine in 1786, his supervisor being Justus Christian Loder. Batsch was married in 1787 to Amalie Pfaundel. They had three children, Friedrich (born 1789), George Friedrich Karl (1792), and Karoline (1795). He died in 1802 after a short illness. In 1786 Batsch began to teach
natural history Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fungus, fungi, and plants, in their natural environment, leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study. A person who studies natural history ...

natural history
at the University of Jena and in 1787 he was appointed associate professor of medicine and botany. In 1792 he became Professor of
Philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such questio ...

Philosophy
. He advised
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of G ...

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
on his botanical research. Batsch's organization of plants in progressive forms may have influenced Goethe's thinking on the
transmutation of species Transmutation of species and transformism are 18th and 19th-century evolutionary ideas about the change of one species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism ...
. In 1790, Batsch founded a botanical garden in Jena, and the ''Naturforschende Gesellschaft'' ("Nature Investigator's Club").


Botany

Batsch discovered almost 200 new species of
mushroom A mushroom or toadstool is the fleshy, spore )'', growing on a thinning, thinned hybrid black poplar ''(populus, Populus x canadensis)''. The last stage of the moss#Life cycle, moss lifecycle is shown, where the sporophytes are visible befor ...

mushroom
s, including ''
Clitocybe nebularis
Clitocybe nebularis
'', ''
Calocera cornea ''Calocera cornea'' is a jelly fungus that grows on decaying wood. It is a member of the Dacrymycetales, an order of fungi characterized by their unique "tuning fork" basidia. Its yellow, finger-like, tapering basidiocarps are somewhat gelatino ...

Calocera cornea
'', ''
Paxillus involutus ''Paxillus involutus'', commonly known as the brown roll-rim, common roll-rim is a basidiomycete fungus A fungus (plural: fungi or funguses) is any member of the group of Eukaryote, eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such ...

Paxillus involutus
'', and ''
Tapinella atrotomentosa ''Tapinella atrotomentosa'', commonly known as the velvet roll-rim or velvet-footed pax, is a species of fungus in the family Tapinellaceae. Although it has lamella (mycology), gills, it is a member of the pored mushroom order Boletales. August ...
''. He was a recognised authority writing two books on the topic, ''Elenchus Fungorum'' (''Discussion of Fungi'', between 1783 and 1789), which is still highly rated today and ''Versuch einer Anleitung zur Kenntniss und Geschichte der Pflanzen'' (''Attempt at Instruction in the Knowledge and History of Plants'', between 1787 and 1788). ''Versuch einer Anleitung...'' looked into the nature of what we now know to be
fungal A fungus (plural The plural (sometimes list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ), in many languages, is one of the values of the grammatical number, grammatical category of number. The plural of a noun typically denotes a quantity great ...

fungal
disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interactin ...
s of plants (such as
Dutch elm disease Dutch elm disease (DED) is caused by a member of the sac fungi Ascomycota is a phylum of the kingdom Fungi that, together with the Basidiomycota, forms the subkingdom Dikarya. Its members are commonly known as the sac fungi or ascomycetes. It ...

Dutch elm disease
), but without realizing their origin. Rejecting the system of
Carl Linnaeus Carl Linnaeus (; 23 May 1707 – 10 January 1778), also known after his ennoblement Ennoblement is the conferring of nobility—the induction of an individual into the noble social class, class. Currently only a few kingdoms still grant nob ...

Carl Linnaeus
, he began to classify plants on the basis of their external form and shape and to make them generally understandable by means of a clear, precise representation, as best known in his three volume ''Elenchus Fungorum''.While well versed in the
flora Flora is all the plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, ca ...

flora
of the Jena area, the weakness of his system lay in his lesser familiarity with the plants of the rest of the world. Other works include ''Dispositio Generum Plantarum Jenensium Secundum Linnaeum et Familias Naturales'', Jena 1786, generally referenced as Dispos. Gen. Pl. Jenens., alternatively titled as ''Dissertatio inauguralis botanica sistens dispositionem generum plantarum Jenensium''.Dispos. Gen. Pl. Jenens. 1786
/ref> His taxonomic classification of plants is summarised in his last work, the ''Tabula affinitatum regni vegetabilis'' (1802), which was notable for its diagram depicting the network of affinities within the vegetable kingdom.


Zoology

Batsch wrote ''Versuch einer Anleitung, zur Kenntniß und Geschichte der Thiere und Mineralien, für akademische Vorlesungen entworfen, und mit den nöthigsten Abbildungen versehen'', in English Provisional guide to the knowledge, development and history of the animals and minerals, designed for academic lectures. The first part (Erster Theil) ''Allgemeine Geschichte der Natur; besondre der Säugthiere, Vögel, Amphibien und Fische'' German natural history, mammals, birds amphibians and fish appeared in 1788.Part two (Zweyter Theil). ''Besondre Geschichte der Insekten, Gewürme und Mineralien'' on insects, worms and minerals was published in the following year, 1789. He was also known for his work on
turtles Turtles are an Order (biology), order of reptiles known as Testudines, characterized by a turtle shell, shell developed mainly from their ribs. Modern turtles are divided into two major groups, the Pleurodira, side-necked turtles and Cryptodi ...

turtles
.


Selected publications

* * * *


Legacy

Batsch is considered one of the most important late eighteenth century naturalists in central Germany.


See also

*
List of mycologists This is a non-exhaustive list of mycologists, or scientists with a specialisation in mycology, with their Author citation (botany), author abbreviations. Because the study of lichens is traditionally considered a branch of mycology, lichenology, lic ...


References


Bibliography

* * *
Plate
Plate from ''Elenchus fungorum''.

(
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
)
University of Jena botanical gardenTexts of works available at BHL
{{DEFAULTSORT:Batsch, August 1761 births 1802 deaths 18th-century German botanists 18th-century German zoologists Botanists with author abbreviations German entomologists German mycologists German Protestants German taxonomists People from Jena People from Saxe-Weimar 18th-century German writers