Why are most leaves green?

When leaving home to visit a river, a waterfall or even a park, you will soon be amazed by the wonderful green of nature. But have you ever wondered why the vast majority of leaves are green?

In the leaves of vegetables there are cells with small structures that are called chloroplasts. Inside these structures we find a pigment called chlorophyll. This substance is capable of absorbing blue, violet and red wavelengths, as well as reflecting green light, giving the plant this coloration.

However, chlorophyll does not only play the role of coloring the leaves, they have an extremely important function: capturing light. Light gathering is essential for carrying out the photosynthesis process. It is through photosynthesis that the plant is able to use carbon dioxide taken from the air and water taken from the ground to produce sugar and oxygen. But this process is only possible in the presence of light, hence the importance of chlorophyll.


Observe the scheme of the photosynthesis process

It is worth noting that there are three main types of chlorophyll: chlorophyll

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The, chlorophyll B and chlorophyll ç. the chlorophyll The occurs in all vegetables and cyanobacteria. chlorophyll B it is found in plants, algae and euglena. the chlorophyll ç, in turn, it replaces chlorophyll b in some living beings.

It is important to note that the leaf does not only contain green pigments. Even inside the chloroplast we find other pigments such as carotenoids. These substances are responsible for the yellow, orange and red coloration. The color of carrots occurs thanks to this pigment. They are also responsible for the pigmentation of some flowers and fruits.

When a leaf gets older, you've probably noticed its color change. They turn yellow due to an increase in the amount of carotenoids and a decrease in the level of chlorophyll.

Carotenoids are also important in the photosynthesis process. They work by absorbing light energy and bringing it to chlorophyll. However, it is important to highlight that they act by helping chlorophyll, thus not being able to replace it. Another essential function of this pigment is to protect the chlorophyll molecules, working as an antioxidant agent.


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