The Relation between Leaves’ Color Changes & Climate Changes

The change in leaves ‘growth is known as phenology. Phenology is the branch of science that deals with the relation between climate and periodic biological phenomena.

This phenomenon is very important for the plant activity and the ecosystem, and their biophysical and biogeochemical effects on the climate system. Besides, this phenomenon depends mostly on the temperature change since there is an interaction between them.

The process of plant growth starts with the leaf unfolding and ends with the leaf color change. Accordingly, these changes have an impact on the whole ecosystem. It is proved that warming can cause a reduction in seed production for some tree species.

Climate change affects the growth of plants in three ways. Firstly, as CO2 levels rise, plants need less water to do photosynthesis. This means that there would be more fresh water available in soils and streams. But a second effect counters that: a warming world means longer and warmer growing seasons, which gives plants more time to grow and consume water, and accordingly drying lands. While the third effect is that plants in this hotter, CO2-rich environment grow bigger, with more leaves. That means when it rains there will be far more wet leaves creating more surface area for more evaporation to occur leading to the preservation of the moisture of the solid.

In autumn, we see the colorful beauty of fallen leaves. The mixture of red, purple, orange and yellow is the result of chemical processes that take place in the tree as the seasons change from summer to winter.

During the spring and summer, the leaves have acted as factories where most of foods necessary for the trees’ growth are manufactured. This food-making process takes place in the leaf in numerous cells containing chlorophyll, which gives the leaf its green color.

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