• Potted tomato;
  • Rhizosphere ventilation;
  • Soil–root system;
  • Water use efficiency


Soil rhizosphere aeration status is an important aspect of soil quality and soil ecology. The objective of the current study was to determine the appropriate moisture environment that facilitates rhizosphere soil aeration and ensures normal root respiration in tomato. In the potted experiment, five treatments of soil aeration were used (0.4, 0.8, 1.2, 1.6 ventilation volume of 50% porosity of soil, and no ventilation) under conditions of the different soil moisture upper limits. The effects of different rhizosphere soil aerations on the physiological indicators and water absorption of tomato were studied. Under the same soil moisture condition, plant growth and root vitality initially increased, and then decreased when the soil ventilation volume increased. The combination of soil moisture with 80% of field capacity and 0.8 ventilation volume with 50% soil porosity raised the chlorophyll content by 29.98% and the root vitality by 61.55%, as compared with the non-ventilated treatment. Therefore, the appropriate volume of rhizosphere ventilation can effectively improve the capacity of water absorption in tomato. The result provides a new view about soil quality and soil ecology in terms of soil–root system.