VICTOR DE SCHWANBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VICTOR DE SCHWANBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Autumn leaf. Close-up of the surface of a leaf showing autumnal colours. The leaf is from a deciduous plant, which sheds its leaves in autumn to prevent water loss and frost damage over the winter period. The vivid colours seen here are due to the breakdown of the green pigment chlorophyll, which absorbs sunlight during photosynthesis. This breakdown reveals other pigments which are usually hidden by the chlorophyll.
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