PLSR-Based Assessment of Soil Respiration Rate Changes under Aerated Irrigation in Relation to Soil Environmental Factors
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 investigate the effect of AI on the soil respiration rate and the mechanism of regulation. The Daejeon experiment included two treatments: AI and unaerated SDI as a control check (CK), and used the National Soil Quality Zhanjiang Observation and Experiment Station as a platform to carry out a 2-year (2020&ndash;2021) positioning experiment. The effects on the soil respiration rate, soil temperature, soil water content, oxygen content, soil bacterial biomass and root biomass of the two treatments were established. The oxygen content, soil bacterial biomass and root biomass regression equation, using the partial least squares regression analysis (PLSR) algorithm and structural equation modeling (SEM), screened out the influence of soil respiration under AI treatment as the main soil environmental factor and driving mechanism of rate change. The results showed that compared with the control CK, the soil respiration rate, soil oxygen content, root biomass and soil bacterial biomass were significantly enhanced under AI treatment, the soil water content had a decreasing trend, and there was no significant difference in the effect on soil temperature between the different treatments. The regression fitting results showed that the soil respiration rate under both treatments was negatively correlated with soil temperature using a quadratic polynomial correlation, linearly correlated with the soil oxygen content, positively correlated with root biomass and soil bacterial biomass using power function and positively correlated with the soil water content using a cubic polynomial correlation. The PLSR and SEM results demonstrated that aerated irrigation technology could drive the increase in the soil respiration rate by changing the soil oxygen content, root biomass and bacterial biomass.