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04 November 2005
Why do leaves change color in the fall?

Big Man mapleHere's a good, brief discussion of the subject.

I subscribe to the 'protection against radiation' explanation. The red/yellow/orange pigments are present in the leaves all year (most likely as a protection against radiation damage), but because of the chlorophyll (green color), they're not visible. Once the chlorophyll breaks down and disappears in the fall...voilá!

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