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Life on Earth depends on photosynthesis. Photosynthetic systems evolved early in Earth history and have been stable for 2.5 billion years, providing prima facie evidence for these significance of evolutionary functions. Pigments perform multiple plant functions from increasing the range of energy captured for photosynthesis to a range of protective functions. Given the importance of pigments to leaf functioning, greater effort is needed to determine whether individual pigments can be identified and quantified by high fidelity spectroscopy. New methods to identify overlapping pigment absorptions would provide a major advance for understanding plant functions, quantifying net carbon exchange, and identifying plant stresses.