Why and What for the Leaves Are Yellow in Autumn? On the Interpretation of Optical Spectra of Senescing Leaves (Acerplatanoides L.)

Mark N. Merzlyak, Anatoly Gitelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

94 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The reflectance, transmittance and absorption spectra of Acer platanoides leaves were recorded in the progress of full-term autumn senescence and compared with absorbance spectra of extracts from, and pigment contents in, these leaves. The observed changes in leaf spectra and development of intensive yellow color of the leaves are considered as related to the changes in the light depth penetration in the photosynthetic tissues accompanying chlorophyll breakdown. It is suggested that carotenoids, serving as effective light traps (in spite on their relatively low concentrations), are able to provide protection against harmful effects of blue-light irradiation; it can explain the physiological significance of their retention in leaves up to terminal stages of the senescence process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-320
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Plant Physiology
Volume145
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

Fingerprint

autumn
Light
Acer
leaves
Carotenoids
Chlorophyll
Acer platanoides
Color
light traps
transmittance
blue light
absorbance
reflectance
carotenoids
irradiation
pigments
chlorophyll
color
extracts

Keywords

  • Leaves
  • optical properties
  • photoprotection
  • senescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Why and What for the Leaves Are Yellow in Autumn? On the Interpretation of Optical Spectra of Senescing Leaves (Acerplatanoides L.). / Merzlyak, Mark N.; Gitelson, Anatoly.

In: Journal of Plant Physiology, Vol. 145, No. 3, 01.01.1995, p. 315-320.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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