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The objective of this work was to evaluate the effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculation in the growth, colonization and absorption of P and trace elements of leguminous trees on coal mine wastes. Independent assays for Mimosa scabrella Benth. (common name bracatinga), Mimosa bimucronata (DC.) Kuntze (maricá) and Parapiptadenia rigida (Benth.) Brenan (angico-vermelho) were carried out in a greenhouse on an entirely casualized experimental delineation composed of six treatments. Five coal mine autochthonous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal isolates were tested, including Acaulospora colombiana, Acaulospora morrowiae, Dentiscutata heterogama, Rhizophagus clarus and Rhizophagus irregulars, aside from a control treatment, with four replications each. Results show that arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization was greater than 60% for Mimosa species, and up to 26% for Parapiptadenia. Overall, the fungal inoculation promoted better plant growth, with increments of up to 1430%. Phosphorous absorption was favored, especially when inoculation was done with A. colombiana, R. irregularis and A. morrowiae. Even though there was a conclusive reduction in the levels of trace elements in the plant´s shoots, the inoculation with those species of fungi promoted significant increments in the accumulated levels of As, Cu, Zn and Cr for all plant species tested. Therefore, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi play important roles in these poor, degraded and often contaminated environments.