In a nutshell, this documentary answers why the lynx needs a caterpillar, why does the tree need the fish and why does truffle fungus need flying squirrel.
Connections like these form the planet’s great ecosystems and they’re vital for all life. The host, Chris Packham, wants to show you our world as you’ve never seen it before.
New England in autumn – there really can’t be a more magical place anywhere on Earth to appreciate the dramatic transition between summer and winter. But we mustn’t get blinded by this natural fiesta because such an extreme transformation is a huge challenge for life and autumn is just one of many transformations the forest must face.
From summer to winter this land of plenty will appear to collapse, before attempting to rebuild itself all over again in the spring. To see how, Chris is going to what is for him the greatest seasonal forest on the planet – the wooded wilderness that stretches right across North America. From the land of the Canadian lynx to the land of the grizzly bear.
Our story begins in autumn. As the days are drawing shorter less light is feeding the forests. Deciduous trees are shedding their leaves, many creatures are hiding away to escape the cold, and others are simply leaving. But there’s one animal with a crucial job to do now before the winter sets in. It’s a job the entire forest depends upon. It’s a creature Chris waited all his life to see – the flying squirrel.
They really are expert gliders and they can glide for up to 200 meters, but what on earth they’ve got to do with our story? In preparation for winter the hungry squirrel needs to hoard food such as truffles, but the truffles also need the squirrel to eat them. As the squirrel moves through the forest the spores are dispersed and that’s crucial not just for the truffle but for the trees.