It is a widely held belief that a climax vegetation of closed forest systems covered the lowlands of Central and Western Europe before humans intervened in prehistoric times to develop pastoral agriculture. If this intervention had not taken place, it would still be there and so if left, the grassland vegetation we see today would revert to its natural closed forest state, although with a reduced number of wild species. This book challanges this view using examples from pollen analyses and studies on tree species such as oak and hazel. It tests the hypothesis that species composition, structure and succession of vegetation was governed by herbivores and that the Central and Western European lowlands were covered in grasslands, scrub, solitary trees and groves surrounded by cover and border vegetation. Comparative information from America is also included.