September 30, 2012

Why are some leaves not green?

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While walking around the rainforests of Tambopata you will see some leaves that don’t seem to belong amongst their green brethren- some of these leaves can be blue, purple, red, pink, or even white. 

Leaves are green because they absorb most other colors in their chlorophyll and harvest that light for energy; the unabsorbed green bounces away and is detected by our eyes. So, for a leaf to be of another color, it usually is sacrificing energy absorption for something else. 

Why the color sacrifice? Found out in this video:




This video represents two of the leading theories on why some leaves are of different colors in the rainforest. While these reasons can apply to many leaves, they don’t apply to all, and we’re continually finding out more about interesting plant adaptations in this realm.

Check out www.TheRevScience.com for more posts from biologist Phil Torres

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