Q:

Why are leaves important?

A:

Quick Answer

Leaves are important to plants and trees because they convert sunlight energy into food through a process called photosynthesis. Leaves have a chemical called chlorophyll in them, which is what allows them to photosynthesize.

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Full Answer

Leaves go through seasonal changes, which include:

  1. Changing color
  2. Leaves change color in the fall because as temperatures cool, the chlorophyll in the leaves starts to break down, which signals to the tree that it needs to store the converted food in the tree, rather than in the leaves. The leaves change color because of the lack of chlorophyll, which is what makes the leaves green in the spring and summer months. The changing color depends on the presence of carotenoids or anthocyanins. Carotenoids are the chemicals that turn leaves brown, orange and yellow, whereas anthocyanins are the chemicals that cause leaves to turn purple or red.

  3. Falling
  4. Deciduous trees lose their leaves in autumn because as temperatures fall, the trees create a seal between the branch and its leaves that protects the branches from the freezing temperatures of winter. Evergreen trees, on the other hand, have needles instead of leaves, which are able to withstand the freezing temperatures because of their waxy coating. Needles remain green all year and do not change color or fall off.

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Related Questions

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    What do plants eat?

    A:

    Plants make their own food through a process known as photosynthesis, which involves creating energy from sunlight, water, carbon dioxide and other nutrients. The substance in plants that makes the energy is known as chlorophyll, which is located in the leaves and is what gives plants their green color.

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  • Q:

    When does photosynthesis occur?

    A:

    Photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert the sun's energy to glucose, takes place during daylight hours when the plant's leaves are exposed to sunlight. This process only occurs in green plants and in some protist species. Carbon dioxide and water must also be present in order for photosynthesis to occur.

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    What is an explanation of photosynthesis for kids?

    A:

    Photosynthesis is the process that plants use to convert the energy in sunlight into food that they use for energy. In order to carry out photosynthesis, plants need not only sunlight but also water and carbon dioxide. The food they make is called glucose, which is a simple sugar.

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  • Q:

    What is the role of carotenoids in photosynthesis?

    A:

    Carotenoids, a type of pigment, are used in photosynthesis to absorb sunlight for plants to convert into energy. Pigments are substances that absorb light in a specific spectrum. Carotenoids typically absorb light in the violet to green light spectrum, which is from about 400 to 550 nanometers.

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