fall colors summary

Grant R. Cramer cramer at med.unr.edu
Wed Oct 25 11:28:18 EST 2000

Some people have asked me to share what I found out. I only put in
information that was not already sent to plant-ed.

Bryan Ness has a good site:

I have a good article on this topic at my site.  Take a look at it at

Nancy Artus from West Chester University commented:

The carotenoids are there all along.  These include xanthophylls and
beta-carotene. They are insoluble pigments found in the thylakoids and serve
as accessory pigments in photosynthesis and also have a protective role in
absorbing excess light energy.  Some plants, like some of the maples, also
produce anthocyanins in the fall.  These are water soluble pigments that are
produced in response to stress.  They are not photosynthetic pigments.  The
browns are probably not actual pigments, but as you say, waste products.

David Robinson commented:

there was an article in one of the Biology Education journals that leaf drop
could be thought of as a form of excretion by plants
Grant R. Cramer
Associate Professor
Mail Stop 200
Department of Biochemistry
University of Nevada
Reno, NV 89557
phone: (775) 784-4204
fax: (775) 784-1650
email: cramer at unr.edu
web page: http://www.ag.unr.edu/cramer/

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