Why Do Trees Change Color?
Everyone relates the bright, scenic colors of the trees with fall. What most people don’t know is why. For this process, also known as photosynthesis to happen it involves three different pigments that give the leaves their color. Trees are autotrophs; this means that they make their own food. The leaves obtain water through their roots, but also they need sunlight, carbon dioxide, and chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the pigment that gives leaves their green color and makes photosynthesis happen. Without photosynthesis or chlorophyll the leaves would stay the same, Photosynthesis (which means putting together with light) in leaves is the process in which they turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and sugar. This sugar is also known as glucose. That is why trees are green, but the reason that trees are red, orange, yellow, and many other colors we find in the fall season is different. The pigment carotenoids give up more yellow, orange, and golden colors. The anthoncyanins pigment gives us colors that are more red and purple.
You can find small portions of these pigments in the chloroplasts of the cell all year long; the chlorophyll is just covering them up. When the fall begins you can see the bright colors of the carotenoids and anthocyanins take over as the chlorophyll disappears. This happened because the longer our nights and the less daylight we have slows down the process of the chlorophyll, until the process stops and is destroyed. The intensity of these colors really depends on two things, the amount of rain and weather conditions. You will find the colors brightest on warm or cool days, but not too hot or too cold. This is because more sugars and very light-spur production of the pigments are produced on these days. After that on a cool night, the veins close up to hold in the sugars. Also rain gives the leaves more brilliant colors, because there is more water in the soil. The falls cool, crisp, rainy falls will give you...
Cited: "Autumn Leaves and Fall FoliageWhy Do Leaves Fall Colors Change?" Autumn Leaves and Fall Colors. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2012. .
"Northeastern Area." Why Leaves Change Color. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2012. .
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