Amo’s Nature Corner

 

Tis the season for Autumn Glory! Everyone gets excited this time of year for the vivid colors of Garrett County forests. But where does the green go? Do the leaves actually turn into a new color like red or yellow?

The green in leaves is created by a pigment called chlorophyll. This pigment collects energy from the sun to be converted into sugars, which act as stored fuel to the plant. Chlorophyll absorbs all wavelengths of color except green, which gets reflected. That is why we see the color green! That explains the green color, but what about the reds and yellows of the fall? Are they produced by the trees and plants only in the fall?

Actually, the red, yellow, and brown pigments are in the leaf all the time. The green pigment is more abundant, so that is the color we see. However, in the fall, chlorophyll is the first pigment to leave the leaf, allowing the other pigments, or accessory pigments to be observed. The accessory pigments help the plant absorb the green wavelengths of light that the chlorophyll cannot.

Would you like to schedule a nature hike, critter or science program for your school or birthday party? Then contact Amo’s Nature Programs via Facebook, amonatureprogram@gmail.com, or telephone 240-321-2263