Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamadan
This study was conducted to determine soil properties that correlate with the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) spore numbers in semiarid calcareous soils of Hamadan province in northwestern of Iran. Soil samples from six sites managed differently were collected from a 0 to 30 cm depth. The results showed that land use and management systems had a significant effect on AMF spore number in soils. The mean spore number was found to fluctuate from 87 10g-1 to 172 10g-1 in coniferous woodland and dry farmland soils, respectively. The AMF spore numbers in soils exhibited a positive correlation with soil silt content, organic carbon/available P ratio, total nitrogen/available P ratio, basal respiration and fungal population, but a negative correlation with soil available P and available P/available K ratio. It may be concluded that soil management system, plant cover, silt content, available P are the main factors affecting AMF spore numbers in calcareous soils.