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In a changing world, precipitation is predicted to alter in amount, intensity, frequency and type, and hydrological extreme events such as flood and drought will occur more frequently than before (Weltzin et al. 2003; Trenberth et al. 2010). Flood and drought effects on flower and fruit production (Ginestar and Castel 1996; Cruz et al. 2013), or on shifts of reproductive phenology (Mazer et al. 2015) of plants have been widely recognized. The physiological mechanisms, however, have rarely been studied. Given the importance of reproductive timing on plant ecosystems, it is urgently needed to understand the variation and evolution of plant reproductive phenology in relation to changes in water availability, and the underlying physiological mechanisms in trees (Inouye et al. 2008).


Drought effects on reproductive phenology in pine trees