Bibliography and Index of the Sirenia and Desmostylia  

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"Alvarez-Alemán, Anma"

Álvarez-Alemán, Anmari; Beck, Cathy A.; Powell, James Arthur, Jr. (detail)
First report of a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in Cuba.
Aquatic Mammals 36(2): 148-153. 2 figs.
Álvarez-Alemán, Anmari (detail)
El manatí. Chap. 4.1 in: R. Borroto-Páez & C. A. Mancina (eds.), Mamíferos en Cuba.
Vasa (Finland), for Spartacus Foundation & Soc. Cubana de Zoología (1-271): 178-185, 263. 19 figs.
Navarro-Martínez, Zenaida M.; Álvarez-Alemán, Anmari; Castelblanco-Martínez, Delma Nataly (detail)
Componentes de la dieta en tres individuos de manatí en Cuba [Diet components in three manatees in Cuba].
Revista de Investigaciones Marinas 34(2): 1-11. 2 tabs. 4 figs. Jan.-June 2014.
–ABSTRACT: Manatees Trichechus manatus depend on aquatic vegetation. The objective of this study was to compare the presence of diet items among different regions of the digestive tract with different levels of degradation, in three individuals. In addition, we developed a reference collection of images of seagrass fragments and other common diet items, which can be useful in studies of digestive material. We conducted microhistological analyses of manatee digestive samples(stomach, intestine, and feces) from manatees of southern Varadero (Matanzas)and northern coast of Villa Clara. The studied individuals used marine vegetation as food source. The abundance of rhizomes in feces suggests a rooting behavior. Despite the fact that the quantification of the diet components can be affected in several regions of the digestive tract, due to the differential degradation of the diet items along the tract, the identification of the main diet components was possible in all of these regions.
 RESUMEN: El manatí Trichechus manatus depende de vegetación acuatica como fuente de alimento. El presente trabajo tiene como objetivos comparar la aparición de los componentes mas importantes de la dieta de tres individuos entre diferentes porciones de su tracto digestivo. Ademas, elaborar una colección de fotografías de referencia de los fragmentos de las fanerógamas marinas y otros elementos que pueden ser comúnmente observados en la dieta de individuos de esta especie, para su identificación en estudios de material digestivo. Para ello se realizó un analisis microhistológico del contenido digestivo (estómago, intestino y heces) de animales procedentes del sur de Varadero (Matanzas) y costa norte de Villa Clara. Todos los componentes encontrados fueron característicos de ecosistemas marinos, lo que indica el uso de este tipo de habitat como sitio de alimentación por estos individuos. Se encontró alta abundancia de rizomas en las muestras fecales de manatí, lo que sugiere la remoción de la planta completa durante su alimentación. A pesar de la variación observada en la composición de la dieta en diferentes regiones del tracto digestivo, esta parece estar influenciada por el nivel de degradación al que se somete el alimento en cada región, los componentes que pueden ser importantes para la alimentación de esta especie se mantienen hasta su expulsión en forma de heces.
Alvarez-Alemán, Anmari; Alfonso, Eddy García; Forneiro Martin-Vianna, Yanet; Hernández Gonzalez, Zaimiuri; Domenech, Raisa Escalona; Hurtado, Andrés; Powell, James A.; Jacoby, Charles A.; Frazer, Thomas K. (detail)
Status and conservation of manatees in Cuba: historical observations and recent insights.
Bull. Marine Science 94(2): 313-327. April 2018.
–ABSTRACT: The Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus Linnaeus, 1758) is classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature because of reduced numbers and habitat loss. Existing information about this species in Cuba is limited, but it can be synthesized into useful guidance for strategies to protect and rehabilitate this population. Anthropogenic threats have been reported to have had detrimental effects on manatees since 1970, with a major factor being illegal hunting. Information obtained through interviews of fishers, and boat and aerial surveys has identified the Ensenada de la Broa and Hatiguanico River on the Zapata Peninsula as important areas for manatees. Historically, manatees frequented rivers and other freshwater habitats, but currently they are encountered primarily in estuarine and coastal waters, which makes availability of fresh water an important consideration. There is a pressing need to gather additional and more reliable data on the abundance, distribution, and health of Antillean manatees in Cuba as a basis for more effective and efficient initiatives to protect and rehabilitate this population.
Alvarez-Alemán, Anmari; Austin, James D.; Jacoby, Charles A.; Frazer, Thomas K. (detail)
Cuban connection: regional role for Florida's manatees.
Frontiers in Marine Science 5: 294. 1 fig. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00294. Aug. 21, 2018.
Alvarez-Aleman, Anmari; Hunter, Margaret E.; Frazer, Thomas K.; Powell, James A.; Garcia-Alfonso, Eddy; Austin, James D. (detail)
The first assessment of the genetic diversity and structure of the endangered West Indian manatee in Cuba.
Genetica 150: 327-341. Oct. 22, 2022.
–ABSTRACT: The coastal waters of Cuba are home to a small, endangered population of West Indian manatee, which would benefit from a comprehensive characterization of the population's genetic variation. We conducted the first genetic assessment of Cuban manatees to determine the extent of the population's genetic structure and characterize the neutral genetic diversity among regions within the archipelago. We genotyped 49 manatees at 18 microsatellite loci, a subset of 27 samples on 1703 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and sequenced 59 manatees at the mitochondrial control region. The Cuba manatee population had low nuclear (microsatellites HE=0.44, and SNP HE=0.29) and mitochondrial genetic diversity (h=0.068 and pi=0.00025), and displayed moderate departures from random mating (microsatellite FIS=0.12, SNP FIS=0.10). Our results suggest that the western portion of the archipelago undergoes periodic exchange of alleles based on the evidence of shared ancestry and low but significant differentiation. The southeast Guantanamo Bay region and the western portion of the archipelago were more differentiated than southwest and northwest manatees. The genetic distinctiveness observed in the southeast supports its recognition as a demographically independent unit for natural resource management regardless of whether it is due to historical isolation or isolation by distance. Estimates of the regional effective population sizes, with the microsatellite and SNP datasets, were small (all Ne<60). Subsequent analyses using additional samples could better examine how the observed structure is masking simple isolation by distance patterns or whether ecological or biogeographic forces shape genetic patterns.

Daryl P. Domning, Research Associate, Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560, and Laboratory of Evolutionary Biology, Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Howard University, Washington, D.C. 20059.
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