The degree of analogy between fossil and contemporary pollen spectra in Europe has been investigated using the chord-distance dissimilarity measure. No-analog pollen spectra represent vegetation without a modern analog and hence, by inference, represent macroclimatic conditions different from any occurring in the region today. Such spectra have minimum chord distances that exceed a threshold value assessed using contemporary samples from the same and different vegetation u units. Contoured maps of minimum chord distance portray the changing patterns of analogous and no-analog pollen spectra, and hence vegetation units, since 13,000 yr B.P. No-analog vegetation units have been extensive in some regions for much of the Holocene, persisting as recently as 1000 years ago in many areas. The chord-distance measure has also been used to explore the patterns, extent, and rates of change in European pollen spectra since 13,000 yr B.P. Pollen spectra changed rapidly during late-glacial and early Holocene times and during the last millennium. Paleoclimatic changes have brought about the major changes in the Holocene paleovegetation of Europe. Human impact upon European vegetation has obscured neither the contemporary relationship between pollen spectra and vegetation nor the climatically determined long-term changes of vegetation across the continent since 13,000 yr B.P.