Arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization in halophytes of conserved islands of the Lake Urmia (NW Iran) has been compared with those of glycophytes of these areas and those of plants in western coasts of the Lake. Root, rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere soil samples were collected. Spores were counted and the presence of fungal structures in root samples was investigated. Electric conductivities (EC) of soil samples are measured as a salinity indicator. We found only Glomus sp. spores in the soil samples. Rhizospheric soil contains more spores than nonrhizospheric samples. The differences were more obvious in rhizospheric and non-rhizospheric soils of glycophytes in islands.
Mycorrhizal colonization in glycophytes (Bromus scoparius and Astragalus sp.) of the islands was higher, a moderate colonization was observed in the roots of Stipa barbata, Senecio vernalis, Silene conoidea, Artemisia fragrans, Dipsacus sp., and Echinops orientalis and no detectable colonization was observed in Alyssum linifolium , Descurainia sophia and Halimione verrucifeum. Furthermore, a trace level of colonization was observed in Salsola kali, Salicornia europaea and Suaeda crassifolia. Among halophytes, Aeluropus littoralis showed the highest percentage of colonization in islands. Statistical analysis on EC data does not show a significant correlation between salinity and root length colonization. This study shows that above-mentioned halophytes have some capability to colonize with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in islands of the Lake Urmia.