The Miracle of Leaves By Camryn Pingle

Leaves are the reason for all life, from the plants themselves to the animals that depend on them.

Each individual part of every leaf contributes to the photosynthesis that makes life possible.

The palisade layer of the leaf is where the millions of chloroplasts are held. The chloroplasts are the factories of the plant, where products, with a little energy, are turned into chemical energy for the plant. They are packed loosely together, leaving room for all of the carbon dioxide and oxygen that sits inside the leaf.

The upper and lower epidermes contain the stomata. The stomata are microscopic holes in the outer most layers of the skin that are able to open and close to absorb the water and air necessary to create the needed sugars. The cuticle is a wax-like layer that covers the outermost layer of the leaf to help prevent water loss.

Guard cells regulate the stomata. They have an important job because they regulate the stomata, which opens and closes in order to absorb the correct amount of water and CO2. They also help control water loss.

Veins provide support for the leaf and transport minerals and water throughout the leaf. The veins use the xylem and phloem, the two types of transport tissues in the plant.

The spongy layer lays in between the palisade layer and the lower epidermis.It is where the air spaces are, allowing for the change in gases during photosynthesis. With the palisade layer and the lower epidermis, this is the mesophyll of the leaf.

The air space in the organelles of the leaves are where the CO2 and O2 are easily stored and/ or collected. These compounds are needed and made, respectively, in the reactions that lead to the creation of the glucose that feeds the plant.

The chloroplast is where photosynthesis takes place. The organelle most commonly turns 6CO2 and 12H2O into O2 and C6H12O6 most commonly using light/ solar energy.

Every leaf and every part of it is a miracle in itself.

Credits:

Created with images by DHPersonal - "Orange Leaves" • Ken McMillan - "Leaf" • Derek Bridges - "Leaf" • gudka - "leaf" • acidpix - "leaf" • FolioRoad - "Fan leaf"

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