In a 250-foot-wide power line corridor off Route 163 in Southeastern Connecticut. Transmission corridors have long been considered symbols of environmental degradation, with their enormous steel skeletons and high-voltage lines slicing through forests, wetlands, and salt marshes; they divide the landscapes that thousands of species need to survive. Yet now they are gaining a new reputation: As critical homes for faltering species of birds, bees, butterflies, plants, and a host of other species.
Scientists meeting at the third International Barcode of Life conference in Mexico City last week have agreed on a region of DNA that will be used to identify plants by genus in a new system of codification.
Although genetic “barcoding” of animals, which allows scientists to identify animals from a small section of their DNA, is already well-established, the system has until now not worked for plant species.
On naked patches of land in Western Canada and the United States, scientists are planting trees that don’t belong there. It’s a bold experiment to move trees threatened by global warming into places where they may thrive amid a changing climate.