The consequence of climate change in the natural habitats of arid and semi-arid regions is the reduction of species diversity which highlights the necessity of domestication and cultivation of wild species in agricultural systems. The medicinal plant caper (Capparis spinosa L.) is one of the valuable native plants in the natural arena that can be cultivated by recognizing patterns and stages of its growth in natural habitats and copying it .For this purpose, in order to study the ecological needs, phenological stages and growth habits of the valuable medicinal plant caper, the natural habitat of this plant in Mazdavand section of Sarakhs was selected and studies were conducted during 2016. The time interval for each phenological stage was calculated based on the number of days and growth degree day. Growth characteristics (canopy area, large and small canopy diameter and number of branches) were measured and the trend of changes was compared with sigmoid, quadratic, power and linear models. The results of ecological study showed that the habitat studied was affected by drought most of the year. Also, soil analysis showed that soil texture was silty loam, and soil acidity was in the alkaline range, and high amounts of EC at different soil depths also indicated high levels of salts in the soil. The habitat soil was poor in terms of macroelements (N, P and K) and organic carbon, and the amount of these elements were much lower than the optimum level in agricultural soils. Results showed that caper needs 211 days and 2745.3 degree days to complete its growth stages. Investigating the trend of growth changes in the habitat showed that the plant had a relatively high growth rate for canopy expansion in the first three months and after that growth rate decreased over time. Its growth pattern was best predicted by the sigmoid model. According to the results of the study on the growth habits of caper in the natural habitat and considering how it is spread on the land surface and its perennial life, it is recommended that the planting arrangement for caper in agricultural systems be designed so that the plants have enough space for canopy expansion.
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