Q:

Why do plants have leaves?

A:

Quick Answer

Plants have leaves so they can get nourishment. The process of photosynthesis, in which the plant absorbs sunlight in order to turn carbon dioxide and water into food, occurs in the leaves.

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Full Answer

Photosynthesis occurs in the chloroplasts of cells, which are located in plant leaves. Therefore, the majority of photosynthesis takes place in the leaves, making them extremely important to the survival of the plant.

During the process of photosynthesis, water reaches the leaves through the roots of the plants. At the same time, carbon dioxide enters the leaves through little openings, or pores, on the undersides of the leaves. Chlorophyll, a green pigment found inside plants, enables the leaves to absorb sunlight. The energy from the sunlight becomes the energy source that drives the chemical reaction between the water and carbon dioxide. Once the water and carbon dioxide combine, sugar and oxygen are created. The oxygen is secreted back into the air, while the sugars are stored in the plant.

During the winter, when the ground freezes, the plant's roots can no longer pull moisture from the soil and send it to the leaves for photosynthesis. As a result, the leaves stop making food and the cells no longer produce chlorophyll. The leaves then change colors and fall off the plant.

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Related Questions

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    Where does gas exchange take place in plants?

    A:

    The process of gaseous exchange in plants happens in the leaves. Oxygen and water vapor leave the plant while carbon dioxide enters through pores called stomata. Plants require carbon dioxide for photosynthesis and oxygen for respiration.

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    Why do plants need water to grow?

    A:

    Plants need water to grow because plants require internal water pressure to strengthen the stems and leaves, and plants need water to create energy. Water is also necessary for photosynthesis, which occurs in the plant's leaves with water from the stem.

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    How do plants adapt to cold weather?

    A:

    The National Snow and Ice Data Center explains that different species of plants adapt to cold weather in a variety of ways, such as growing in forms that shed snow readily or by retaining dead leaves to help insulate the plant. Unlike birds and other animals that can migrate to avoid harsh winter weather, plants must find a way to cope with the cold temperatures without leaving.

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    How does water move through a leaf?

    A:

    How Stuff Works explains that water reaches the leaves of plants through the xylem vessels, and it escapes through small holes in the leaf known as stomata. The process by which the water moves from the capillaries to the xylem vessels and into the stomata is called transpiration. Plants absorb water through their roots, which contain capillaries. The capillaries are responsible for sending water through the xylem vessels.

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