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The Diatom Collection of Franz Josef Weinzierl



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Franz Josef Weinzierl

Franz Josef Weinzierl Franz Josef Weinzierl was born on February 21st, 1888 and lived in Landshut, the capital of Lower Bavaria (Southern Germany), until his death in 1969. Stimulated by the work of Anton Mayer, a famous diatomologist in Regensburg, Weinzierl began to build up a collection of diatoms from the local flora in 1919. In the following years Weinzierl and Mayer enjoyed a long and productive cooperation. During Mayer's final illness and after his death, Weinzierl rearranged Mayer's collection in Regensburg, to make it the valuable collection which is still used today (e.g. for Pinnularia; Krammer 1992).

After World War II, he was encouraged by Prof. Dr. K. Mägdefrau, professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, to enlarge his collection. As well as samples of extant diatoms he also added collections of fossil taxa. He studied and made slides from selected material of several important exsiccate sets (e.g. Kützing, F.T, Algarum aquae dulcis germanicarum, Rabenhorst, G. L., Die Algen Sachsens and Rabenhorst, G. L., Die Algen Europa's, Fortsetzung der Algen Sachsens, resp. Mittel-Europa's). In the course of his extensive work he developed a new medium for making permanent slides of diatoms which he published (Weinzierl 1949 a, b; 1956).

Weinzierl maintained a lively correspondence with other diatomologists, such as A. Cleve-Euler, F. Hustedt, G. Krasske, F. Meister, C. Reimer, H. Schimanski, received material from some of them and expanded his collection continuously. Hustedt's description of Cyclotella tenuistriata Hustedt [today Cyclotella glabriuscula (Grunow) Håkansson] was partly based on material from Bavaria (river Isar) collected and provided by Weinzierl (Hustedt 1952).

Between the years 1919 and 1967, Weinzierl established the largest Bavarian collection of diatoms. Detailed and comprehensive records, photographs and a library as well as the extensive correspondence with other diatomologists are valuable assets of this significant collection. He donated his diatom collection to the Botanische Staatssammlung München, which it received after his death on March 29th, 1969.

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The Diatom Collection of Franz Josef Weinzierl

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