Why plants receiving less light grow smaller leaves? Wouldn’t they need larger leaves to absorb more light?

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Why plants receiving less light grow smaller leaves? Wouldn’t they need larger leaves to absorb more light?

In: Biology

They would indeed need larger leaves to absorb more light. But because they do not get as much light they do not have the resources to build larger leaves. I is generally a better tactic to try to find somewhere with more light and grow huge leaves there instead of growing leaves where there is no light.

They do, but they need light to grow leaves.

Light = food. Food = energy. Energy = growth.

A plant will put out full-sized leaves on reserve energy if it can, but if that’s not an option, it grows with what it’s given.

In this case, smaller leaves are a survival mechanism. Growing leaves requires energy and supporting them does too. Smaller leaves require less energy to produce and support. Plants lose moisture through transpiration. The larger the leaf, the more moisture it needs to survive. Getting that moisture requires energy… that it doesn’t have due to low light.