The analysis of vegetation history is one of the prime objectives for vegetation scientists. In order to understand the recent composition of local floras and plant communities a second knowledge of species com position during recent millenia is essential. With the present concern over climate changes, due to human activities, an understanding of past vegeta tion distribution becomes even more important, since the correlation between climate and vegetation can often be used to predict possible impacts to crops and forests. I was very fortunate to receive the help of Drs. Webb and Huntley to compile this volume on vegetation history. They have collated an impres sive set of papers which together give an account of the vegetation history of most of the continents during the late-Tertiary and Quaternery periods. There are, however, gaps in the coverage achieved, most notably Africa, and Asia apart from Japan. The information in this book will nonetheless certainly be used widely by vegetation scientists for the regions covered in the book and much of it has relevance to the areas not explicitly described. The authors of the individual chapters have done their best to cover recent topics of interest as well as established facts. It is intended that a separate volume will be produced in the near future covering the vegetation history of Africa and Asia. I thank the editors of It fits well into the this volume for their commendable achievement.