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RE: [AGA Member] Red Pigment-K spectrum experiment

Plants are green because they are not absorbing green light; instead they
reflect it. Chlorophyll absorbs most of its energy for photosynthesis in the
red & blue spectra. Humans see well using green light because our
antecedents evolved in environments abundant in green light (i.e. forests).
We share this with most other land animals I expect. There are also pigments
in certain plants that can absorb other light spectra to indirectly produce
energy for photosynthesis. The dark pigments in plants are there because a)
the genetic parents of the plant needed to evolve protection from strong
light or b) there is a lack of green pigment due to a nutrient shortage (low
N). All (or most) plants have dark pigments that only become visible if
there is a nutrient deficiency.

Its also probably worth mentioning that the majority of our aquatic plants
did not evolve under water but in marshy conditions. Crypts might be one of
the few species with adaptations for annual flooding. Some Crypt species
probably have the beautiful pink colors on the leaf undersides because they
grew in conditions of lower light & wouldn't waste energy by having
chloroplasts on the bottom of the leaves.

Steve P

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