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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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Xylem Embolish Meter

Field portable kit


Hydraulic conductance measurements 

 Embolism measurements 

 Field portable kit. 

 Applicable to a wide range of species 

 Analysis and communication software included



  • Hydraulic conductance measurements inside laboratory and on field.
  • Wood embolism and die back.
  • Water relation in fruit and forest species.
  • Transpiration modelling and irrigation monitoring.
  • Drought physiological impact.
  • Species selection for water stress.
  • Frost resistance for plants.
  • Studying of xylem pathology.


The embolism blocks the sap circulating and thus diminishing the hydraulic conductance of the conducting material; the technique for hydraulic measurement of embolism (Sperry and al., 1988)(1) consists in estimating the hydraulic conductance of little segments (a few centimetres) then resaturating the conducting material by putting a degassed and under pressure water perfusion on the sample. This perfusion will eject and dissolve the air of a certain number of vessels; The ratio between initial conductance and full saturation one provides a quantitative value of the embolism degree. This widely used technique needs a precision scales which means it is totally unusable on field.


XYL'EM allows to measure the embolism establishing without a precision scales; Due to its roughness, the kit can be intensively used on field as well as in laboratory. The simplicity leads to easier and faster measurements. A complete automated version is realisable, and also a High Pressure (HPFM) version.


(1) Sperry J.S., Donnelly J.R., Tyree M.T., 1988 - A method for measuring hydraulic conductivity and embolism in xylem. Plant, Cell and Environment, 11, 35-40.(2) Cochard H., Bodet C., Améglio T., Cruiziat P., 2000 - Cryo-Scanning electron microscopy observations of vessel content during transpiration in walnut petioles. Facts or Artifacts? Plant Physiology, Vol. 124, 1-12.

XYL'EM kit Design

Portable kit allowing the hydraulic conductance determination and xylem gaseous embolism of a plant sample.

plane of XYL'EM kit



Nombre d’échantillons

Diamètre des échantillons

Flux d’eau





Pression de mesure

Conductance (selon débimètre)





Pression de resaturation

Compensation en temperature

Capacité réservoir


Poids total


1..15 mm

0.1 .. 5 g/h

0.2 .. 10 g/h

0.4 .. 20 g/h

1 .. 50 g/h

2 .. 100 g/h

1..7 kPa (20 à 70 cm H2O)

0.22..77 mmol/s/MPa

0.44..154 mmol/s/MPa

0.88..308 mmol/s/MPa

2.2..772 mmol/s/MPa

4.4..1543 mmol/s/MPa

0..200 kPa

5..35 °C

5 litres

25/25/45 cm

10 kg


Tél : 04 43 76 14 01

        04 43 76 14 09

Fax : 04 43 76 14 10

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