"Why do the leaves get these autumn colours?" Dorset Favorite Tip by sim1

Dorset General: 12 reviews and 7 photos


Favorite thing:
Okay, I'll bore you with one more fall picture. But the colours are so amazing that I can't get enough of it. The colours range in all the tones from Green to yellow, orange red and also brown. And when the sun comes out some trees look like they are on fire, the colour is so vibrant.

But why do the leaves turn into these amazing colours?
In spring and summer the most abundant substance in leaves is chlorophyll, which gives them their green colour. Chlorophyll is essential for photosynthesis, the process which converts the energy of sunlight into sugar. Sunlight is also necessary for the synthesis of chlorophyll itself. During summer when the days are long and sunlight is plentiful, chlorophyll is synthesized in a steady, abundant supply, so that throughout the season the leaves remain green. But as autumn approaches and the hours of daylight diminish, the production of chlorophyll slows down. Also, cool autumn temperatures slow the passage of nutrients into the leaves and this further decreases the synthesis of chlorophyll. As the amount of chlorophyll in the leaf decreases, other colourful substances that were always present but had been masked by the green become visible.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 25, 2003
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