Chendroaiei Ponds are nival, periglacial lakes stretching below Rooster’s Crest, at an altitude of 1,043 m, on the northern side of Gutâi Mountains.
The peat bog has a surface of 2,7 ha, with two water ponds at the core with high acidity (pH 4,13).
The 4 m high raised dome shaped surface is formed almost entirely from an arctic type of moss, on which small cushions of bog bilberry and lingonberry have grown. The surface of the bog hosts a series of rare Nordic floral species, some of them relics like the Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia and Drosera intermedia) – the carnivorous diet of these plants is a perfect adaptation to life in a nutrient poor habitat.
This unique ecosystem is made up of 95% water, its integrity maintained by the thin layer of intertwining of living plants and roots on the bog’s surface.
Unlike in most other ecosystems, the dead plants in peat land do not decompose. The lack of oxygen in these waterlogged conditions prevents the appearance of micro-organisms (such as bacteria and fungi) which are normally responsible for rapidly decomposing dead plants. Instead, the dead plants turn into peat, collecting at the bottom of the water. Formation of peat is a very slow process, and it takes approximately 10 years for 1cm of peat to form. At the moment, the peat layer is 8 m thick.
The peat bog represents important source of biodiversity. It hosts many species from microscopic animals (rotifers, protozoa) insect’s larvae, snails to vertebrates such as tritons, salamanders, sometimes lizards, vipers, birds from the neighboring forests searching for food.