2019 Volume 88 Issue 3 Pages 305-314
Uniform temperature throughout a greenhouse is recommended, as the present climate control method and many other studies have shown that the temperature gradient decreases vertically and horizontally in a greenhouse. However, recent research revealed that roots, fruits, flowers, and shoot-tips are more sensitive to temperature changes than leaves and stems, indicating that uniform temperature control may not be necessary. In addition, energy-saving techniques that do not lead to yield loss are desirable to reduce energy costs and ensure sustainable greenhouse production. In this paper, we review current studies on local temperature control methods in greenhouse vegetable production, primarily focusing on the tomato, and compare them with novel climate-control techniques. Roots, fruits, shoot-tips, and flowers are sensitive to temperature changes, showing negative symptoms under extreme temperature conditions. Therefore, the temperature of these plant organs should be controlled locally. Root zone temperature control enhances root growth and its associated physiological activities, promoting uptake of water and mineral nutrients. This subsequently leads to enhanced growth of shoots. Fruit temperature control may not be effective for tomato plants, but it promotes fruit growth and fruit sugar accumulation in melons and watermelons. Shoot-tip temperature control promotes the differentiation of leaf and flower buds. Flower temperature control enhances pollen viability and promotes fruit set. The combination of shoot-tip and flower heating enables low energy consumption compared with conventional heating, without loss of yield. Local temperature control techniques (except roots) have been studied in recent years; however, there is a distinct lack of research on the physiological mechanisms and practical approaches to develop a better local temperature control system. Thus, further studies are required on this area in the future.