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We used a daily time step, multi-layer simulation model of soil water dynamics to integrate effects of soils, vegetation, and climate on the recruitment of Bouteloua eriopoda (black grama), the historically dominant grass in the Chihuahuan Desert. We simulated landscapes at the Jornada ARS-LTER site with heterogeneous soil properties to compare: (1) a grass-dominated landscape in 1858 with the current shrub-dominated landscape (i.e., a change in vegetation structure), and (2) the current shrub-dominated landscape with future landscapes over a range of climate scenarios associated with the North American monsoon (i.e., a change in climate). A historic shift from high productivity grasslands to low productivity shrublands...