, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 799-800

Are red leaves photosynthetically active?

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Abstract

At irradiances close to those representing a sunny day, red and green leaves of poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) showed only minor differences in their photosynthetic capacities despite the strong differences in their pigment composition. However, contrarily to green leaves, red leaves did not show inhibition of photosynthesis at high irradiances, because anthocyanins protected chloroplasts from photoinhibition.