The environmental decoherence in multilevelled systems in the context of two-level approximation is examined. It is found that the environmental temperature plays a minor role in the magnitudes of the decoherence rates whereas, the system-environment coupling and the environmental energy spectrum are dominant. Particularly, the latter is important in zero temperature quantum fluctuations and/or the nonequilibrium noise sources due to the large range of energies present in the environmental modes. Decoherence is found to be dominated by the short time nonresonant processes and this observation severely questions the use of the two-levelled models on decoherence. (C) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.