What causes leaves to change color in the autumn? Is the change physical or chemical? Explain your answer.

2 Answer

  • The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow to orangecolors become visible and give the leaves part of their fall splendor. At the same time other chemical changes may occur, which form additional colors through the development of red anthocyanin pigments.
  • Answer  

    Leaf color comes from three pigments: chlorophyll, carotenoid, and anthocyanin. Chlorophyll is the pigment that makes leaves green and allows plants to make their own food using sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. In the autumn, trees stop producing chlorophyll because there is less sunlight available. This allows carotenoid to show through, making the leaves yellow, orange, and brown. This is an example of a chemical change.


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