sensu
   HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

''Sensu'' is a
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
word meaning "in the
sense A sense is a biological system used by an organism for sensation, the process of gathering information about the world through the detection of stimuli. (For example, in the human body, the brain A brain is an organ (biology), organ tha ...
of". It is used in a number of fields including
biology Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of Cell (biology), cells that proce ...
,
geology Geology () is a branch of natural science concerned with Earth and other Astronomical object, astronomical objects, the features or rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time. Modern geology ...
,
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because it entails a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise analysis of all aspects of language, particularly its nature and structure. Linguis ...
,
semiotics Semiotics (also called semiotic studies) is the systematic study of sign processes (semiosis) and meaning making. Semiosis is any activity, conduct, or process that involves Sign (semiotics), signs, where a sign is defined as anything that commun ...
, and
law Law is a set of rules that are created and are law enforcement, enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. ...
. Commonly it refers to how strictly or loosely an expression is used in describing any particular concept, but it also appears in expressions that indicate the convention or context of the usage.


Common qualifiers

''Sensu'' is the
ablative case In grammar, the ablative case (pronounced ; sometimes list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ) is a grammatical case for nouns, pronouns, and adjectives in the grammar, grammars of various languages; it is sometimes used to express motion ...
of the
noun A noun () is a word that generally functions as the name of a specific object or set of objects, such as living creatures, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas.Example nouns for: * Organism, Living creatures (including people ...
''sensus'', here meaning "sense". It is often accompanied by an
adjective An adjective (list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ) is a word that describes a noun or noun phrase. Its semantic role is to change information given by the noun. Traditionally, adjectives were considered one of the main part of speech, par ...
(in the same case). Three such phrases are: *''sensu stricto'' – "in the strict sense", abbreviation ''s.s.'' or ''s.str.''; *''sensu lato'' – "in the broad sense", abbreviation ''s.l.''; *''sensu amplo'' – "in a relaxed, generous (or 'ample') sense", a similar meaning to ''sensu lato''.
Søren Kierkegaard Søren Aabye Kierkegaard ( , , ; 5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a Danish theologian, philosopher, poet, social critic, and religious author who is widely considered to be the first Existentialism, existentialist philosopher. He wrote cr ...
uses the phrase ''sensu eminenti'' to mean "in the pre-eminent r most important or significantsense". When appropriate,
comparative In general linguistics, the comparative is a syntactic construction that serves to express a comparison between two (or more) entities or groups of entities in quality or degree - see also comparison (grammar) for an overview of comparison, as wel ...
and
superlative Comparison is a feature in the morphology (linguistics), morphology or syntax (linguistics), syntax of some languages whereby adjectives and adverbs are inflection, inflected to indicate the relative degree of the property they define exhibited b ...
adjectives may also be used to convey the meaning of "more" or "most". Thus ''sensu stricto'' becomes ''sensu strictiore'' ("in the stricter sense" or "more strictly speaking") and ''sensu strictissimo'' ("in the strictest possible sense" or "most strictly speaking"). Current definitions of the plant kingdom (''Plantae'') offer a biological example of when such phrases might be used. One definition of ''Plantae'' is that it consists of all
green plants Viridiplantae (literally "green plants") are a clade A clade (), also known as a monophyletic group or natural group, is a group of organisms that are monophyly, monophyletic – that is, composed of a common ancestor and all its lineage (e ...
(comprising
green algae The green algae (singular: green alga) are a group consisting of the Prasinodermophyta and its unnamed sister which contains the Chlorophyta and Charophyta/Streptophyta. The land plants (Embryophyte, Embryophytes) have emerged deep in the Charop ...
and
land plants The Embryophyta (), or land plants, are the most familiar group of green plants that comprise vegetation on Earth. Embryophytes () have a common ancestor with green algae, having emerged within the Phragmoplastophyta clade of green algae as siste ...
), all
red algae Red algae, or Rhodophyta (, ; ), are one of the oldest groups of eukaryotic algae. The Rhodophyta also comprises one of the largest phyla of algae, containing over 7,000 currently recognized species with taxonomic revisions ongoing. The majority ...
and all glaucophyte algae. A stricter definition excludes the red and glaucophyte algae; the group defined in this way could be called ''Plantae in sensu stricto''. An even stricter definition excludes green algae, leaving only land plants; the group defined in this way could be called ''Plantae in sensu strictiore''. Conversely, where convenient, some authors derive expressions such as "''sensu non strictissimo''", meaning "not in the narrowest possible sense". A similar form is in use to indicate the sense of a particular context, such as "Nonmonophyletic groups are ... nonnatural (sensu cladistics) in that ..." or "... computation of a cladogram (sensu phenetics) ..." Also the expression ''sensu auctorum'' (abbreviation: ''sensu auct.'') is used to mean "in the sense of certain authors", who can be designated or described. It normally refers to a sense which is considered invalid and may be used in place of the author designation of a taxon in such a case (for instance, ''"Tricholoma amethystinum'' sensu auct." is an erroneous name for a mushroom which should really be "''Lepista personata'' (Fr.) Cooke").


Qualifiers and contexts

A related usage is in a concept-author citation ("'' sec.'' Smith", or "''sensu'' Smith"), indicating that the intended meaning is the one defined by that author.Panchen, Alec L. "Classification, Evolution, and the Nature of Biology" Publisher: Cambridge University Press 1992 Sinclair, Bradley J. The Systematics of New World Clinocera. Publisher: National Research Council (Canada) Research Press 2008. (Here "''sec''." is an abbreviation of "''secundum''", meaning "following" or "in accordance with".) Such an author citation is different from the citation of the nomenclatural "author citation" or "authority citation". In biological taxonomy the author citation following the name of a taxon simply identifies the author who originally published the name and applied it to the type, the specimen or specimens that one refers to in case of doubt about the definition of a species. Given that an author (such as Linnaeus, for example) was the first to supply a definite
type specimen In biology, a type is a particular wiktionary:en:specimen, specimen (or in some cases a group of specimens) of an organism to which the scientific name of that organism is formally attached. In other words, a type is an example that serves to a ...
and to describe it, it is to be hoped that his description would stand the tests of time and criticism, but even if it does not, then as far as practical the name that he had assigned will apply. It still will apply in preference to any subsequent names or descriptions that anyone proposes, whether his description was correct or not, and whether he had correctly identified its biological affinities or not. This does not always happen of course; all sorts of errors occur in practice. For example, a collector might scoop a netful of small fish and describe them as a new species; it then might turn out that he had failed to notice that there were several (possibly unrelated) species in the net. It then is not clear what he had named, so his name can hardly be taken seriously, either ''s.s. or s.l''. After a species has been established in this manner, specialist
taxonomists In biology Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of Cell (biology), ...
may work on the subject and make certain types of changes in the light of new information. In modern practice it is greatly preferred that the collector of the specimens immediately passes them to specialists for naming; it is rarely possible for non-specialists to tell whether their specimens are of new species or not, and in modern times not many publications or their referees would accept an amateur description. In any event, the person who finally classifies and describes a species has the task of taxonomic circumscription. ''Circumscription'' means in essence that anyone competent in the matter can tell ''which creatures are included in the species described, and which are excluded''. It is in this process of
species description A species description is a formal description of a newly discovered species, usually in the form of a scientific paper. Its purpose is to give a clear description of a new species of organism and explain how it differs from species that have be ...
that the question of the ''sense'' arises, because that is where the worker produces and argues his view of the proper circumscription. Equally, or perhaps even more strongly, the arguments for deciding questions concerning higher taxa such as
families Family (from la, familia) is a Social group, group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or Affinity (law), affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of the family is to maintain the well-being of its ...
or orders, require very difficult circumscription, where changing the ''sense'' applied could totally upset an entire scheme of classification, either constructively or disastrously. Note that the principles of circumscription apply in various ways in non-biological senses. In biological taxonomy the usual assumption is that circumscription reflects the shared ancestry perceived as most likely in the light of the currently available information; in geology or legal contexts far wider and more arbitrary ranges of logical circumscription commonly apply, not necessarily formally uniformly. However, the usage of expressions incorporating ''sensu'' remains functionally similarly intelligible among the fields. In geology for example, in which the concept of ancestry is looser and less pervasive than in biology, one finds usages such as: *"This ambiguity ... has led to a ... dual interpretation of the Kimmeridgian Stage; the longer ''sensu anglico'' meaning, or the shorter ''sensu gallico'' meaning." Here the "''anglico''" or English meaning referred to interpretations by English geologists, derived from English materials and conditions, whereas "''gallico''" referred to interpretations by French and German geologists, derived from continental materials and conditions. *"...genetic stratigraphic sequences ''sensu'' Galloway (1989)" meaning those sequences so referred to by Galloway, much as in the biological usage in referring to the terminology of particular authorities. *"The second progradational unit plus PAN-4 are correlatable to the Pontian ''sensu stricto'' (''sensu'' Sacchi 2001)." Here we have a meta-reference: the Pontian in the sense that Sacchi had applied it as ''sensu stricto''.


Examples in practical taxonomy

''Sensu'' is used in the
taxonomy Taxonomy is the practice and science of categorization or classification (general theory), classification. A taxonomy (or taxonomical classification) is a scheme of classification, especially a hierarchical classification, in which things are ...
of living creatures to specify which
circumscription Circumscription may refer to: *Circumscribed circle In geometry, the circumscribed circle or circumcircle of a polygon is a circle that passes through all the vertex (geometry), vertices of the polygon. The center of this circle is called the ...
of a given
taxon In biology, a taxon (back-formation from ''Taxonomy (biology), taxonomy''; plural taxa) is a group of one or more populations of an organism or organisms seen by taxonomists to form a unit. Although neither is required, a taxon is usually known ...
is meant, where more than one circumscription can be defined. Examples: * "The family
Malvaceae Malvaceae, or the mallows, is a family of flowering plants estimated to contain 244 genera with 4225 known species. Well-known members of economic importance include okra, cotton, Theobroma cacao, cacao and durian. There are also some genera conta ...
''s.s.'' is cladistically
monophyletic In cladistics for a group of organisms, monophyly is the condition of being a clade—that is, a group of taxa composed only of a common ancestor (or more precisely an ancestral population Population typically refers to the number of ...
." :: This means that the members of the entire family of plants under the name Malvaceae (''strictly speaking''), over 1000 species, including the closest relatives of
cotton Cotton is a soft, fluffy Staple (textiles), staple fiber that grows in a wikt:boll, boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus ''Gossypium'' in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose ...
and
hibiscus ''Hibiscus'' is a genus of flowering plant Flowering plants are plants that bear flowers and fruits, and form the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Greek language, Greek words ('c ...
, all descend from a shared ancestor, specifically, that they, and no other extant plant
taxa In biology, a taxon (back-formation from ''Taxonomy (biology), taxonomy''; plural taxa) is a group of one or more populations of an organism or organisms seen by taxonomists to form a unit. Although neither is required, a taxon is usually known ...
, share a notional
most recent common ancestor In biology and genetic genealogy, the most recent common ancestor (MRCA), also known as the last common ancestor (LCA) or concestor, of a set of organisms is the most recent individual from which all the organisms of the set are Common descent, ...
(MRCA). If this is correct, that ancestor might have been a single species of plant, or even ''possibly'' a single individual plant. Conversely the assertion also means that the family includes all surviving species descended from that ancestor. Other species of plants that some people might (''broadly speaking'' or ''s.l.'') have included in the family would not have shared that MRCA (or ''
ipso facto is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Ro ...
'' they too would have been members of the family Malvaceae s.s. In short, the circumscription ''s.s.'' includes all and only plants that have descended from that particular ancestral stock. * "In the broader APG circumscription the family Malvaceae ''s.l.'' includes Malvaceae ''s.s.'' and also the families
Bombacaceae Bombacaceae were long recognised as a family of flowering plants or Angiospermae. The family name was based on the Type species, type genus ''Bombax''. As is true for many botanical names, circumscription and status of the taxon has varied with t ...
,
Sterculiaceae Sterculiaceae was a family of flowering plant based on the genus ''Sterculia''. Genera formerly included in Sterculiaceae are now placed in the family Malvaceae, in the subfamilies: Byttnerioideae, Dombeyoideae, Helicteroideae and Sterculioideae. A ...
and
Tiliaceae Tiliaceae () is a family of flowering plant Flowering plants are plants that bear flowers and fruits, and form the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Greek language, Greek words ('co ...
." :: Here the circumscription is broader, stripped of some of its constraints by saying ''sensu lato''; that is what speaking more ''broadly'' amounts to. Discarding such constraints might be for historical reasons, for example when people usually speak of the
polyphyletic A polyphyletic group is an assemblage of organisms or other evolving elements that is of mixed evolutionary origin. The term is often applied to groups that share similar features known as Homoplasy, homoplasies, which are explained as a result ...
taxon because the members were long believed to form a "true" taxon and the standard literature still refers to them together. Alternatively a taxon might include members simply because they form a group that is convenient to work with in practice. In this example, by adding other groups of plants to the family Malvaceae ''s.l.'', including those related to cacao,
cola Cola is a Carbonation, carbonated soft drink flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, citrus essential oil, oils and other flavorings. Cola became popular worldwide after the American pharmacist John Stith Pemberton invented Coca-Cola, a trademarked bra ...
,
durian The durian (, ) is the edible fruit of several tree species belonging to the genus ''Durio''. There are 30 recognised ''Durio'' species, at least nine of which produce edible fruit. ''Durio zibethinus'', native to Borneo and Sumatra, is the onl ...
, and
jute Jute is a long, soft, shiny bast fiber that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. It is produced from flowering plants in the genus ''Corchorus'', which is in the mallow family Malvaceae. The primary source of the fiber is ''Corchorus olit ...
, the circumscription omits some of the criteria by which the new members previously had been excluded. Now it is no longer clear that all members of the circumscription descended from that one ancestor. Consequently, we say that Malvaceae ''s.l.'' form a
polyphyletic A polyphyletic group is an assemblage of organisms or other evolving elements that is of mixed evolutionary origin. The term is often applied to groups that share similar features known as Homoplasy, homoplasies, which are explained as a result ...
group, one that does not share any single ancestor that had no other descendants. Then their most recent common ancestor could have lived tens of millions of years earlier than the most recent common ancestor of the Malvaceae ''s.s.'' alone; there may be other extant species that are ''not'' included in the modern Malvaceae ''s.l.''. * "The 'clearly non-monophyletic' series '' Cyrtostylis'' ''sensu'' A.S. George has been virtually dismantled..." :: This remark specifies Alex George's particular description of that series. It is a different kind of circumscription, alluding to the fact that A.S. George called them a series. "Sensu A.S. George" means that A.S. George discussed the ''Cyrtostylis'' in that series, and that members of that series are the ones under discussion in the same sense—''how A. S. George saw them''; the current author might or might not ''approve'' George's circumscription, but George's is the circumscription currently under consideration.


See also

*
Glossary of scientific naming This is a list of terms and symbols used in scientific name In taxonomy, binomial nomenclature ("two-term naming system"), also called nomenclature ("two-name naming system") or binary nomenclature, is a formal system of naming species ...


References


External links

{{wiktionary, sensu, sensu stricto, sensu lato Scientific terminology Latin biological phrases Botanical nomenclature