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Rangeland managers actively focus on the potential to induce a shift in a site to an alternative state, but predicted changes in climate, particularly the likelihood of more extreme drought, necessitate reevaluating risks for alternative states. • Rangelands will differ in their susceptibility to undergo state changes due to climate change in general and for droughts of the future, in particular, which may be hotter. • Trees, shrubs, and grasses are expected to differ in their sensitivity to drought, with trees likely being most sensitive; this affects the likelihood for state changes in grasslands, shrublands, woodlands, and savannas. • Considering these differences can help rangeland managers deal with the challenges of increasing drought that is forecast to occur with climate change.