If you live in some parts of the world where the form of nature changes during autumn season, you are lucky to see the wonders of it. In those interesting places, as days shorten and temperatures suddenly change, the green palette of summer foliage is transformed into lustrous palette of reds, oranges, golds, and browns before the leaves start to fall off. The changing colors of nature in these parts of the world are truly amazing. Scientists have worked for many years to understand the changes in colors that happen to trees and shrubs in the autumn.
Many of us know the basic of the change in nature and we continue to enjoy more fully of the nature’s multicolored autumn leaves. There are factors that influence autumn leaf color-leaf pigments, it’s the change of the length of night, and the change in weather from hot to mild and cold. The timing of color change and leaf fall primarily regulated by the increasing length of night. There are no other environmental influences in temperature, rainfall, and so on that are unvarying as the steadily increasing length of night during autumn season. As days grow shorter and nights grow longer and cooler, the biochemical processes in the leaf paint the landscape with nature’s autumn palette.
During the growing season, cholorophyll that is present in every leaf is continually produced that helps the process until the leaves mature and appear green. As the night length increases in the autumn, chlorophyll production slows down and then stops and eventually all the chrlorophyll in every leaf is destroyed. The carotenoids and anthocyanins that are present in the leaf are then uncovered and show the new color of the leaf.
Certain colors in a leaf are characteristics of particular leaf species. Hickories turned golden and bronze; oaks turned red, brown, or russet; aspen and yellow-poplar turned golden yellow; beech, light tan; dogwood, purplish red; and sourwood and black tupelo turned crimson. Maples differ depending on its species; red maple turns brilliant scarlet; black maple turns glowing yellow; and sugar maple turns orange-red. Some species of autumn leaves such as the elms simply fall and its color change a little to dab brown.
The brilliance of the colors that develop in any particular autumn season is related to weather conditions that occur during the time when the chlorophyll in the leaves is dwindling. The change in temperature and moisture are the main influences in the changing of colors of autumn leaves. A succession of warm, sunny days and cool atmosphere seems to bring the most spectacular color displays of the autumn season. The timing of the change in color also varies by species. Sourwood in southern area can become vividly colorful in late summer while other trees still have green leaves.
The increasing length of autumn night and the change in weather from hot to mild and cold are some of the causes why the leaves change its color during fall.
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