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The Private Life of Plants Living Together

   1995    Nature
The fifth programme explores the alliances formed between the animal and plant worlds. 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. Besides accommodation, the guards are rewarded with nectar and, from certain species, protein for their larvae as well. Fungi feed on plants but can also provide essential nutriment to saplings (Mycorrhiza). The connection is never broken throughout a tree's life and a quarter of the sugars and starches produced in its leaves is channelled back to its fungal partners. Meanwhile, fungi that feed on dead wood leave a hollow trunk, which also benefits the tree. Orchids enjoy a similar affiliation. Lichens are the product of a relationship between fungi and a photosynthetic associate, usually algae. They are extremely slow-growing, and a graveyard is the perfect location to discover their exact longevity. Mistletoe is a hemiparasite that obtains its moisture from a host tree, while using own leaves to manufacture food. Its seeds are deposited on another by the mistletoe tyrannulet, following digestion of the fruit. The dodder (Cuscuta) is also parasitic, generally favouring nettles, and siphons its nourishment through periodic 'plugs' along its stem. The rafflesia has no stem or leaves and only emerges from its host in order to bloom — and it produces the largest single flower: one metre across.
Series: The Private Life of Plants

Fuel

   2021    Medicine
The episode is a journey through the human gut and the process of turning food into energy to keep the body going. Humans have turned eating into culture, a way to celebrate our roots, to bring us together. But food is really just one thing: Fuel. It's where you get the power to live your life. Even when you're sitting completely still, your body needs a lot of energy to stay on. But nowhere is the need for fuel more apparent than when you push yourself to the absolute limit. And the microbiome, the bacteria living in our gut, plays a great role in all this.
Series: Human: The World Within

The Human Body
The Human Body

   1998    Medicine
Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle
Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle

   2018    History
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture
U2 Live at the Rose Bowl
U2 Live at the Rose Bowl

   2010    Art
A History of Christianity
A History of Christianity

   2011    History
Alien Worlds
Alien Worlds

   2020    Science
The Incredible Human Journey
The Incredible Human Journey

   2009    History
Wonders Of The Universe
Wonders Of The Universe

   2011    Science