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He is bespectacled man, hale but somewhat bookish. He stands, in the wings of hydrobiology, looking into space - Alfred Lityński.

Alfred Lityński (1880 - 1945) was one of the greatest Polish scholars, incredible teacher and Polish pioneer of Hydrobiology. A man of average height in the used suit, constantly in rush - that's how people remember him. He was born in Bligrad. His activity was mainly connected with Wigry Lake, where as the head of the Hydrobiological Station glorified the lake all over the world.

We hear a door open and close, then approaching footsteps. There he stands, in the used tweed suit. He's telling his story. A young man in working clothes - not casual - passes in front of him from the other direction, pauses next to him. It's me. I'm listening to his story, to be able to tell you it now.

Alfred Lityński was great man, he was very fond of disseminating knowledge. The Lityński's object of interest were mainly planktonic crustaceans and fishes. He was interested in their fauna, distribution and environmental requirements. His most important achievement in this area was to note attention to important fertility. He also studied the composition of whitefishes and vendaces, their food, and analyzed the differences of the anatomy of salmonids' filter apparatus. Lityński paid paritucular attention to the issue of security fish. He postulated that in the next Wigry's reserve fishes from past centuries were restored by eleminating the artificial introduction of species of "trade" fishes and to create conditions for the development of salmonid fishes, especially whitefishes. Unfortunately, his postulates were not accepted.

Another area that fascinated him was the ecology of aquatic teams. The main achievement of Lityński was creative reflections, and ecological concepts of "biosociation" and biota. Alfred Lityński was interested in hydrobiology of swamps. He was the initiator of three scientific expeditions to Polesie. Materials collected in the fieldwork were the inspiration to Biological Station in Pinks, which was created in 1937.

Lityński developed and disseminated methodology of hydrobiological researches. He published works, which describe aquatic ecosystems, how to use: scientific language and terminology and also he described the use of various test equipments. For the needs of students he undertook writing the first academic textbook of hydrobiology in Poland. Although in August 1939 all materials were sent to print, the outbreak of the Second World War prevented the publication of "General Hydrobiology". The fate of that book was really dramatic. During the occupation Lityński again prepared the text and some illustrations. After his death, additions to the book were made by professor Leszek K. Pawłowski, and the textbook was finally released in 1952.

All I can say is that the memory of Alfred Lityński survived. When he told me about his life I was greatly impressed by what he had done. After he told me that story, he fell asleep. He left this world, but people remember him as one of the greatest people in our country.

Kwartalnik Wigry