Pat Shingleton: "Bug Killing, With Leaves..."
Recently botanists determined that the harvest color displayed on leaves may be a sunscreen or a death threat for hungry insects. In Autumn, leaves break down to prepare for winter. When leaves lose their green, scientists believe it's a dangerous time for leaves to be exposed to sunlight. Leaf cells are very fragile and when photons from the sun bombard the leaves they are absorbed within a specific color - red. Experiments in Wisconsin determined that the leaf is protected because it is red and continues to produce food well into November. Some trees also make poisons that kill aphids and the red leaf deters these insects. Even though we reside in a tropical or sub-tropical climate, we can experience a few "changing leaves."