A laboratory microcosm incubation was conducted to study the influence of mixed cowpea-maize residues on N2
O emission and N mineralization in a tropical acrisol. The soils were incorporated with different ratios of cowpea:maize mixtures on weight basis: 100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75 and 0:100, and a control treatment in which there was no residue incorporation. The results show that N2
O and CO2
emissions were higher in the sole cowpea treatment (100:0) than the sole maize treatment (0:100) and the control. However, cowpea-maize residue mixtures increased the proportion of N lost as N2
O compared to the sole treatments. This interactive effect was highest in the 75:25 treatment. The 50:50 treatment showed moderate N2
O emission compared to the 100:0, 75:25 and 25:75 treatments but with corresponding steady N mineralization and appreciable mineral N concentration. It is concluded that mixing cowpea-maize residues might increase the proportion of N lost as N2
O in a tropical acrisol. However, compared to the other residue mixture treatments, mixing cowpea-maize residues in equal proportions on weight basis might offer a path to reducing N2
O emissions while maintaining a steady N mineralization without risking good N supply in acrisols. The study therefore offers potential for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining soil fertility in tropical acrisols. However, further studies under both laboratory and field conditions will be required to verify and validate this claim.