46. Marsh-al Arts
When the oaks and beeches take over from the maples we get a whole different palette of colors. Just as beautiful in their own way. Chlorophylls degrade into colorless tetrapyrroles known as nonfluorescent chlorophyll catabolites (NCC's). As the chlorophylls degrade, the hidden pigments of yellow xanthophylls and orange beta-carotene are revealed. These pigments are present throughout the year, but the red pigments, the anthocyanins, are synthesized de novo once roughly half of chlorophyll has been degraded. The amino acids released from degradation of light harvesting complexes are stored all winter in the tree's roots, branches, stems, and trunk until next spring when they are recycled to re-leaf the tree.