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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2019, Vol. 18 Issue (12): 2854-2868    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(19)62618-3
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The effects of aerated irrigation on soil respiration, oxygen, and porosity
ZHU Yan1, 2, 3, Miles Dyck4, CAI Huan-jie1, 2, 3, SONG Li-bing1, 2, 3, CHEN Hui1, 2, 3
1 Key Laboratory of Agricultural Soil and Water Engineering in Arid and Semiarid Areas, Ministry of Education/Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, P.R.China
2 Institute of Water-saving Agriculture in Arid Areas of China (IWSA), Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, P.R.China
3 College of Water Resources and Architectural Engineering, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, P.R.China
4 Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton T6G2E3, Canada
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To ameliorate soil oxygen deficiencies around subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) drippers, aerated irrigation (AI) was introduced to supply aerated water to the soil through venturi installed in the SDI pipeline.  The objectives of this study were to assess the effects of AI on soil respiration (SR), air-filled porosity (AFP), soil temperature (ST), and oxygen concentrations (OCC).  Total soil respiration (TSR), biological activity temperature index (BAT), and soil oxygen consumption (OCS) based on SR, ST, and OCC, respectively, were subsequently calculated to explore the relationships between TSR, BAT, OCS, OCC, and AFP.  Greenhouse-based experiments included two treatments: AI and unaerated SDI (CK), during the tomato growing season in the fall of 2015.  The results showed that compared with CK, AI treatment significantly increased OCC and AFP (by 16 and 7.4%, respectively), as well as TSR and OCS (by 24.21 and 22.91%, respectively) (P<0.05).  Mean fruit yield with AI treatment was also 23% higher (P<0.05) than that with CK.  When BAT was controlled, partial correlations between TSR, OCS, OCC, and AFP were all significant in the AI treatment but not in the CK treatment.  TSR was more sensitive to the interaction effects of OCC, OCS, AFP, and BAT under the AI treatment.  Thus, the significantly increased TSR with AI appeared to be due to the favorable soil aeration conditi ons (higher OCC and AFP).  Furthermore, the improvements in soil aeration conditions and respiration with AI appeared to facilitate the improvement in fruit yields, which also suggests the economic benefits of AI.
Keywords:  aerated irrigation        soil respiration        soil oxygen        yield        tomato  
Received: 03 August 2018   Accepted:
Fund: This study was funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFC0400200 and 2016YFC0400201) and the Program of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities “111 Project”, China (B12007).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence CAI Huan-jie, Tel: +86-29-87082133, Fax: +86-29-87082901, E-mail:    
About author:  ZHU Yan, Mobile: +86-15249044238, E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

ZHU Yan, Miles Dyck, CAI Huan-jie, SONG Li-bing, CHEN Hui. 2019. The effects of aerated irrigation on soil respiration, oxygen, and porosity. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 18(12): 2854-2868.

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