Large-scale effects of diffuse heavy metals pollution on terrestrial ecosystems are still underestimated. We studied the relation between the biodiversity of vascular plants and the feeding Lepidoptera, in our case leaf-miners and pollinating adult butterflies, in a Dutch nature reserve over a period of five years. We found that 5% of the 56 plants species which provide food and habitat to Microlepidoptera during their larval stage were affected by heavy metal pollution. Furthermore, the numerical abundance of leaf-mining larvae remained rather constant, despite of significant increases of the concentrations of Cd, Cu, Ni and Zn pollutants in leaves and litter. Â© Springer-Verlag 2006.
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