Invertebrates of ancient heavy metal spoil and smelting tip sites in southern Jordan: Thier distribution and use as bioindicators of metalliferous pollution derived from ancient sources

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Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-62
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002
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The invertebrate populations of stony desert sites contaminated by ancient metalliferous activities in the Nabatean, Roman and Byzantine periods were significantly different from those found in adjacent ancient abandoned field systems. Consequently, it is apparent that such invertebrates potentially have uses as biomonitors of metalliferous pollution derived from ancient anthropogenic activities. This is further explored by an analysis of the heavy metal content of certain of these animals; extensive bioaccumulation of copper and especially lead occurred in organisms inhabiting areas associated with ancient metalliferous enterprises.


  • Jordan, desert, copper, lead, invertebrates, pollution biomonitoring, bioaccumulation