Autumn Leaves: Just Pretty or Poisonous Too?

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Most people look at forests in the fall and see a beautiful panorama. But Erik Nilsen looks at them and sees acts of chemical warfare.

Nilsen, a plant ecologist at Virginia Tech, is one of a growing number of botanists who think brilliantly colored autumn leaves are full of chemicals that poison other plants and trees.

It's a controversial theory with potentially huge agricultural implications, but old-school botanists are highly skeptical.



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