Five thousand years ago, New England forests experienced a tumultuous upheaval. Across the region's interior an abrupt and massive decline of hemlock occurred, and the dominant tree was replaced by hardwood species. Simultaneously, on Cape Cod and the Islands, oak experienced heavy mortality and was replaced by beech. The driver of these coincident changes was a warming climate and periods of severe drought. How did other species and people respond? How did the forests recover from these events?