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BBC-EarthErwür­gen, Erste­chen, Ver­gif­ten… (BBC, 1994)

Da Pflan­zen nicht weg­lau­fen kön­nen, füh­ren sie, seit dem Tie­re das Land erober­ten, einen Dau­er­krieg gegen ihre Fraß­fein­de.

Neben­bei haben sie das Pro­blem gelöst, wie sie auf dem Land ihre Samen und damit ihre Art aus­zu­brei­ten kön­nen. Sie nut­zen nur die phy­si­ka­li­schen Kräf­te der Natur von Wind und Wet­ter, son­dern auch Tie­re die­nen mehr oder weni­ger frei­wil­lig als Trans­por­teu­re.

1. Tra­vel­ling

This epi­so­de looks at how plants are able to move. The bram­ble is an aggres­si­ve examp­le: it advan­ces force­ful­ly from side to side and, once sett­led on its cour­se, the­re is litt­le that can stand in its way.

2. Gro­wing

Sun­light is one of the essen­ti­al requi­re­ments if a seed is to ger­mi­na­te, and Atten­bo­rough high­lights the cheese plant as an examp­le who­se young shoots head for the nea­rest tree trunk and then climb to the top of the forest cano­py, deve­lo­ping its lea­ves en rou­te.

3. Flowering

Pol­len and a stig­ma are the two com­pon­ents nee­ded for fer­ti­li­sa­ti­on. Most plants car­ry both the­se wit­hin their flowers and rely on ani­mals to trans­port the pol­len from one to the stig­ma of ano­t­her. To do this, they attract their cou­riers with color, scent and nec­tar.

4. The Soci­al Strugg­le

Atten­bo­rough high­lights the 1987 hur­ri­ca­ne and the deva­sta­ti­on it cau­sed. Howe­ver, for some spe­ci­es, it was that oppor­tu­ni­ty for which they had lain dor­mant for many years. The space left by uproo­ted trees is soon fil­led by others who move rela­tively swift­ly towards the light.

5. Living Toge­ther

Atten­bo­rough dives into Australia’s Gre­at Bar­ri­er Reef and con­trasts the noc­turnal fee­ding of coral, on micro­sco­pic crea­tures, with its day­ti­me diet of algae. Some acaci­as are pro­tec­ted by ants, which will defend their refu­ge from any pre­da­tor.

6. Sur­vi­ving

Atten­bo­rough visits Elles­me­re Island, north of the Arc­tic Cir­cle, to demons­tra­te that even in a place that is uncon­du­ci­ve to life, it can be found. Algae and lichens grow in or on rock, and during sum­mer, when the ice melts, flowers are much more appa­rent.

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