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A copper contaminated demonstration location

Aarhus University controls and maintains a demonstration site located in Hygum in the south of Jutland, Denmark.

The study area is an abandoned agricultural field contaminated with copper sulphate used for wood preservation, which took place on the area from 1911 to 1924. After 1924 the area was cultivated until 1993, and has been a fallow field since. During the years of cultivation the copper was homogeneously mixed within the ploughed layer, i.e. 25 cm. The area occupies a total of c. 7200. The site is unique and well-suited for investigating of the effect of heavy metals, as it is almost exclusively contaminated by one metal, i.e. copper. The copper is furthermore present in a relative smooth gradient due to the land management.

The Department and associated partners have conducted a number of research projects on the site for the last 20 years. This span over ecological population field surveys of plants, micro-arthropods and oligochaetes to off-field ecotoxicological bioassays, various –omics studies, and studies on co-selection of antimicrobial resistance in Cu-tolerant bacteria.

If interested in cooperation and scientific use of the site please contact the beneath responsible.

Head Responsible

John Jensen

Deputy Head of Department, senior Researcher