Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Biology (Integrative Biology)

Major Professor

Thomas L. Crisman, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Henry Mushinsky, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mark C. Rains, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Philip J. Motta, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Reginald Victor, Ph.D.


water quality, water resources, zooplankton, fish, benthos


This research was conducted to update previous studies of the springs of the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Oman and Jordan). Approach: 76 springs were surveyed in between March and July 2018: 15 Saudi Arabia, 41 Oman and 20 Jordan to ascertain the current status, water quality and zooplankton benthos and fish communities. Investigation of the changes of biota and chemical parameters downstream from the springs source in Saudi Arabia. Results: Mercury exceeded the WHO and USEPA maximum contaminant level (MCL) in 63 of 76 springs, Aluminum exceeded MCL in 8 of 76 springs, and both were the common dissolved heavy metals. Nine zooplankton taxa were recorded in this survey: Five were rotifers (Branchionus quadridentatus, three Lecane species and a potential Trichocerca species) and one was a cladoceran, the chydorid Pleuroxus sp. The remaining three taxa were copepods, one cyclopoid (Thermocyclops sp.) and two harpacticoids (Euterpina sp, Schizopera sp). Two Mollusca (Pseudosuccinea columella and Melanoides tuberculata) were found in Saudi and Oman. Four fish species were found: Garra tibanica (Saudi Arabia) and Aphanius dispar, Garra barreimiae, and Cyprinion micropthalmum (Oman). Conclusion: 30% of Saudi Arabia springs (15 of 46) extant in 2018 still flow, 2 of 15 were thermal springs. 60% of Oman springs (41of 68) extant in 2018 still flow, 14 of 41 were thermal springs, 30% of Jordan springs (20 of 49) extant in 2018 still flow, 14 of 20 were thermal springs.