In this article, I will answer the question: Why do leaves become yellow in autumn? I will give you a short answer and a longer one.
Everybody knows when autumn arrives because the leaves become yellow. After a while, they fall down and become completely dry. What can cause this? Why is it happening?
The short answer for why leaves become yellow is
Because first the green materials demolish and after that the yellow and red materials become visible.
The long answer is far more scientific
There are many types of molecules in leaves. The most dominant is chlorophyll which suppresses all others because it is more dominant than the rest. These materials are continuously formed and decomposed. In autumn the production is reduced because of less sunshine. Among the produced materials, chlorophyll demolishes the fastest. So the color of the other materials get visible. Finally, all materials demolish.
The colors are caused by a combination of different molecules :
- The yellowish color – xanthophyll and flavonoid molecules (eg flavon, flavonol)
- The orange color – carotin
- The reddish-brown color – anthocyanin
- The brownish color – tannic acid [tannin].
These were the materials that are most responsible for the autumn colors.
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