Natural allelochemicals are considered as a source of algaecides. To uncover the anti-algal activity of Cinnamomum camphora fallen leaves and promote their usage as algaecides, the composition of their water and methanol extracts was analyzed, and the inhibitory effects of extracts on the growth of Microcystis aeruginosa and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and chlorophyll (Chl) content and photosynthetic abilities in C. reinhardtii were investigated. Twenty-five compounds were detected in the water extracts, mainly including terpenoids, esters, alcohols, and ketones. Compared to water extracts, there were more compounds and higher concentration in methanol extracts. Both water and methanol extracts inhibited the growth of the two algae, and 15 mg·ml−1 methanol extracts killed the algal cells after 48 h. The levels of Chl a and Chl b, as well as maximum quantum yield of photosystem II photochemistry (Fv/Fm) in C. reinhardtii cells reduced gradually with increasing the concentration of extracts, while the maximum quantum yield of non-photochemical de-excitation (φDO) increased gradually. At the same concentration, methanol extracts showed stronger inhibitory effects than water extracts, due to their higher number of compounds and higher concentration. Therefore, C. camphora fallen leaves have a potential value as an algaecide.

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