DR KEITH WHEELER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR KEITH WHEELER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Beech leaves. Light micrograph of a transverse section through two beech leaves (Fagus sylvatica). The shapes of the two leaves are different because the bottom leaf is constantly exposed to bright sunlight, whereas the top leaf is in the shade in the lower parts of the tree. The sun leaf, in comparison to the shade leaf, has a thicker cuticle to reduce water loss through transpiration, more layers, bigger cells and more chloroplasts to capture more sunlight (photosynthesis), more starch grains (stored sugars made photosynthesis) and is thicker with more vascular tissue and supporting fibres (yellow) in the midrib. Magnification: x100 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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