Technological watch

Effect of Aeration on Blockage Regularity and Microbial Diversity of Blockage Substance in Drip Irrigation Emitter

Aerated drip irrigation is rendered as a new water-saving irrigation method based on drip irrigation technology, which is endowed with the function of effectively alleviating the problem of rhizosphere hypoxia in crop soil, enhancing the utilization rate of water and fertilizer; as a result, it improves the harvest and quality of crops. However, clogged emitters are important indexes, among others, that pose an influence to the service effect and life duration of drip irrigation systems. At present, the working principle and mechanism of the influence of air feeding on the blockage of drip irrigation emitters remain unclear. Therefore, based on the two gas filling methods of the micro/nano bubble generator and Venturi injector, the dynamic change process for the average flow ratio of an air-filled drip irrigation emitter was studied by the method of emitter plugging test. 16S rRNA sequencing was used to analyze the microbial diversity of the emitter plugs. The results show that the air injection can pose influence on the clogging procedure of drip irrigation emitters, and more importantly, it makes the distribution of blocked emitters more uniform, thus improving the uniformity of the system. Different filling methods have different effects on the blockage of the emitter. Among them, the blockage time of drip irrigation system under the micro/nano aerated drip irrigation (MAI) mode is 5.73 times longer than that under unaerated drip irrigation (UVI), and similarly, Venturi gas drip irrigation (VAI) is close to that under UVI. The filling method changed the microbial diversity of the blockage in the emitter. Among them, the number of operational taxonomic unit (OTU) unique to MAI was 2.1 times that of UVI, and the number of OTU unique to VAI was 1.3 times that of UVI. Meanwhile, gas addition will inhibit the growth of Nitrospirae and Proteobacteria microbial communities and promote the growth of Firmicutes and Actinobacteria microbial communities. Furthermore, the increase in microbial extracellular polymer in the plugging material of the emitter was inhibited and the plugging process of the emitter was slowed down. The research results are of great significance in the disclosure of the clogging mechanism of drip irrigation emitter and constructing the green, anti-blockage technology of aerated drip irrigation.

Publication date: 17/11/2022

Author: Peng Li

Reference: doi: 10.3390/agriculture12111941



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 1914.