Green Leaves

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In botany, a leaf is an above-ground plant organ specialized for the process of photosynthesis. Leaves are typically flat (laminar) and thin which evolved as a means to maximise the surface area directly exposed to light. Furthermore the internal organisation of leaves has evolved to maximise exposure of the photosynthetic organelles, the chloroplasts, to light and to increase the absorption of carbon dioxide, all of which assist photosynthesis.

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These adaptations are at the expense of water loss and most leaves have stomata which regulate carbon dioxide, oxygen and water vapour exchange with the atmosphere. The shape and structure of leaves varies considerably depending on climate, primarily due to the availability of light and potential for water loss due to temperature and humidity.


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