Autumn colouring

A change in leaf colour in autumn, from green into other colours, such as yellow, red or orange. This is common in many trees and can be a spectacular view when it happens simultaneously over large areas. It may also seem meaningless.

Why use resources to change the colours of the leaves that are about to die anyway?

The answer is largely that as autumn proceeds, it becomes too costly for the plants to keep their green colour. What happens is actually that the leaves stop producing the green pigment (from chlorophyll), not so much that they start producing new colours. Most of the bright yellow and red colours are in fact present in the leaves during summer too but masked by the green. The colour changes also have important functions that prepares the trees for their winter dormancy.

Polarpedia terms are created by EDU-ARCTIC Consortium, which holds responsibility for quality of translations in following languages: Polish, French, Danish, Norwegian, German, Russian, Italian, unless indicated otherwise. If you see an error - please contact us:
European Union flag This project (EDU-ARCTIC) has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 710240. The content of the website is the sole responsibility of the Consortium and it does not represent the opinion of the European Commission, and the Commission is not responsible for any use that might be made of information contained.
Designed & hosted by American Systems Sp. z o.o.