Why do leaves have a color?

Why do leaves have a color?

Leaves are significant part of nature that exists because of a specific function. Yes it is true that leaves can give shade and can serve as food to both animals and humans. But other than that, leaves portray an important role that is hard to replace synthetically and which greatly benefits all the living things in the world.

The leaves exist because its primary function is to provide oxygen so that people, animals and plants can sustain life. The leaves utilize carbon dioxide, water and sunlight and undergo a process known as photosynthesis to produce oxygen, water and carbohydrates. These three products are essential elements that plants use in many different ways.

Within the leaves are a substance known as chlorophyll which, when struck by sunlight, initiates the process of photosynthesis. The sun’s rays which are made up of different colors, illuminates the colors of the rainbow when the light is broken down. However, chlorophyll cannot accommodate all these colors. It can only absorb the red and blue part of the sun’s spectrum of colors. And so the color of the leaves that reflect in our eye is the green color. However, the leaves’ green color starts to fade out when the number of chlorophylls decrease, usually when the days become shorter. But still, there are other substances found in leaves that replace chlorophyll when it disappears. These substances were discovered to be carotene and anthocyanins. Carotene gives the leaves the yellow color when reflected in the eyes while anthocyanins make leaves red or purple depending on its acidity level. So as the climate changes, corresponding chemical processes occur within the leaves.

It is a wonder indeed how nature was created so beautiful and magical that facts can still be so fascinating until today.

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