The changing colors of fall leaves offer spectacular views. But did you know the beauty of fall foliage is also a striking example of nature taking extreme measures to protect itself?

秋天叶子颜色的变化展示了壮观的景色。但是你知道秋叶的美丽也是自然采取极端措施保护自己的一个突出的例子吗?

If you’re not already familiar with the process of photosynthesis, it’s the process that plants use to turn carbon dioxide, water, and light energy into sugars and oxygen. Photosynthesis depends on a green pigment called chlorophyll as well as lots of other pigments. Some of the most important pigments in tree leaves are the carotenoids, flavonoids, and the anthocyanins. The carotenoids are the yellow, orange, and brown pigments that give color to vegetables like corn, carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes. The flavonoids are the yellow and green pigments that are responsible for the vivid colors in foods like kale, citrus fruit, and parsley. The anthocyanins are the red and purple pigments that give color to fruits like cherries, berries, pomegranates, and red apples. All of these pigments play an important role in the plant’s functions, but there’s usually far more chlorophyll in a plant than anything else because photosynthesis is a plant’s number one job.

如果您还不熟悉光合作用,那么光合作用的过程是工厂将二氧化碳,水和光能转化为糖和氧。光合作用取决于称为叶绿素的绿色色素以及许多其他颜色。树叶中一些最重要的颜色是类胡萝卜素,类黄酮和花青素。类胡萝卜素是黄色,橙色和棕色的颜料,为玉米,胡萝卜,南瓜和红薯等蔬菜提供颜色。类黄酮是黄色和绿色的颜料,负责食品中的生动的颜色,如羽衣甘蓝,柑橘类水果和欧芹。花青素是红色和紫色的颜料,赋予水果如樱桃,浆果,石榴和红苹果的颜色。所有这些颜料在植物的功能中起着重要作用,但植物中的叶绿素通常比其他任何物质都要多,因为光合作用是植物的首要任务。

Many trees are less active in the winter because they grow at northern and southern latitudes that receive less sunlight during those months. These trees are called deciduous, the Latin word that means “to fall off.” Since deciduous trees don’t do much photosynthesis in the winter, it doesn’t make sense to use energy to maintain big, green leaves. So when the days get shorter and the temperature gets cooler, they send less of their limited resources to the leaves and start using what water and nutrients they have to keep the rest of the tree alive.

冬季,许多树木生长活动较少,因为北部和南部纬度地区的森林在这几个月期间阳光少。这些从树上掉下来的叶子被称为落叶,拉丁语意思是 “ to fall off ”。由于树上的叶子在冬天没有做太多的光合作用,所以使用能量来维持绿色叶子是没有意义的。所以当光照越来越短,温度越来越冷的时候,树木使用很少的能量在叶子上,开始使用水和营养来保持树干本身的生存。

秋叶 1

The chlorophyll in the leaves breaks down, and the green color gradually goes away. When that happens, the other pigments, that were there the whole time, are better able to show off their colors before the leaves die entirely and fall off the tree. The leaves aren’t actually changing colors, they’re just losing their strong, green pigment to reveal the other colors in the tissue. After the tree stops supplying food and water to the leaves, all that’s left is for the tree to cut them off.

叶片叶绿素分解,绿色逐渐消失。当这种情况发生时,其他颜料,一直在树叶里,更好地在树叶枯萎前完全炫耀自己的颜色,并从树上掉下来。叶子实际上并没有改变颜色,只是失去了强力的绿色颜料,以露出组织中的其他颜色。在树干停止向叶子供应食物和水之后,剩下的一切就是为了从树上落下。

The tree forms a special layer of cells near the base of the leaf’s stalk, and another layer of cells at the very bottom of the stalk expands to push the leaf away. Eventually, the leaf can be knocked off easily—even by a light wind, and then it’s your job to rake them up!

树在叶子的基部附近形成一个特殊的细胞层,另一层细胞在茎的最底部扩展,以推开叶子。最后,即使轻风也能轻松敲打叶子,使其轻轻飘落了!

Now that you know the science behind fall leaves changing colors, why don’t you try capturing the process throughout the season? Spend some time and look at the variety of colors on a particular tree (or even a particular leaf), and see if you can visualize photosynthesis in motion. If you’re able to capture an image, share it with us in the comments below.

现在你知道秋季树叶会改变颜色科学原因了,为什么不尝试在整个秋季去观察捕捉这个过程呢?花一点时间,看一下特定的树(甚至一个特定的叶子)上的各种颜色,看看你是否会发现树叶的光合作用。如果您能够拍下树叶颜色变化的每个瞬间,请于我们分享。

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