High-resolution pollen records from North America show that terrestrial environments were affected by Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) and Heinrich climate variability during the last glacial. In the western, more mountainous regions, these climate changes are generally observed in the pollen records as altitudinal movements of climate-sensitive plant species, whereas in the southeast, they are recorded as latitudinal shifts in vegetation. Heinrich (HS) and Greenland (GS) stadials are generally correlated with cold and dry climate and Greenland interstadials (GI) with warm-wet phases. The pollen records from North America confirm that vegetation responds rapidly to millennial-scale climate variability, although the difficulties in establishing independent age models for the pollen records make determination of the absolute phasing of the records to surface temperatures in Greenland somewhat uncertain. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd.