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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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