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Student Question

Secondary II • 2yr.


Why do the leaves change color in the fall? Why does the green disappear?

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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

    This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.

    Team Alloprof • 2yr.

    Thank you for your question!

    In fact, the leaves change color because the plants stop producing the pigment that gives them their green color. This pigment, called chlorophyll, is only produced when the days are of a certain length. As the days get shorter in the fall, plants no longer have enough light to synthesize chlorophyll. In consequence, they stop producing it, and the pigment slowly degrades.

    Once the green in chlorophyll is gone, the other yellow, orange and red pigments naturally present in plants are more visible. This is why the leaves seem to change color, even though, in reality, they have always had those colors (except that they were hidden by the chlorophyll).

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