Each autumn tempts our eyes with the color of colors. Fever red, golden yellow and any amber of amber color dyed the trees, then the ground with a colorful carpet. Why do the leaves of trees pass through this dramatic change?
Let’s try to understand what is happening with the leaves of the trees during this transitional season from the warm summer to the winter frosts.
In spring and summer the leaves are green because they contain a pigment called chlorophyll. Every child knows it. Chlorophyll is contained in small disc-like structures, called chloroplasts, scattered in plant cells. Chlorophyll molecules absorb the red and blue portions of the light spectrum, but they reflect the green, which is why we see the leaves exactly in that color.
Chlorophyll is the basis of photosynthesis, which is a process that transforms light energy into a chemical. Photosynthesis proceeds like this: chlorophyll absorbs sunlight and the energy from this absorption is used to convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates serve to feed the plants, and oxygen is released into the atmosphere. Chlorophyll is relatively unstable and therefore, over time, decays into plant cells. To keep enough of it in its leaves, the plant constantly synthesizes it again. Normally, the synthesis process requires sunlight and high temperatures.