forge links with lianas

Plant Superpowers

At 9 p.m. on France 5

Change of scenery guaranteed with this evening on plants! In the first part, a documentary on tropical forests shows the fierce struggle for light under the canopy. The dense forest teems with life, and time-lapse shots capture what normally takes months and decades to happen. The documentary becomes almost animalistic, with the onslaught of lianas which opportunely cling to growing trees, while another is cut to pieces like prey.

Poetic but overhanging, this view of the tropical forest is followed in the second part of the evening by a very successful documentary on the role of plants and our relationship to them. It is of course a question of agriculture, like the 400,000 hectares of almond trees in California. To make room for this monoculture, everything was razed. As a result, no more pollinators around, and it is now by truck that bees arrive from all over the country.

From the forests of Hawaii to the fig trees of India

But, beyond the unfortunately too well-known ravages of intensive crops, it is above all through its solutions that the report instructs and amazes. We meet a botanist who broadcasts the song of a bird near the fifty remaining plants of a purple flower, in the hollow of the forests of Hawaii. The flower needs its winged sidekick to be pollinated and survive.

Above him and a stone’s throw away, we fight against miconia, an invasive species imported from Mexico. From the cutter to the shotgun firing bullets loaded with herbicide, everything is good to prevent the progression of the intruder. Further on, calmer, we go to the mountains of India, where, patiently, root after root, the inhabitants shape the strangler fig trees to make steps and living bridges. A beautiful ode to important links.

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