Trees are spread worldwide, as the watchmen that experience the intricate ecological effects caused by various environmental factors. In order to better understand such effects, it is preferential to achieve finely and fully mapped global trees and their environments. For this task, aerial and satellite-based remote sensing (RS) methods have been developed. However, a critical branch regarding the apparent forms of trees has significantly fallen behind due to the technical deficiency found within their global-scale surveying methods. Now, terrestrial laser scanning (TLS), a state-of-the-art RS technology, is useful for the in situ three-dimensional (3D) mapping of trees and their environments. Thus, we proposed co-developing an international TLS network as a macroscale ecotechnology to increase the 3D ecological understanding of global trees. First, we generated the system architecture and tested the available RS models to deepen its ground stakes. Then, we verified the ecotechnology regarding the identification of its theoretical feasibility, a review of its technical preparations, and a case testification based on a prototype we designed. Next, we conducted its functional prospects by previewing its scientific and technical potentials and its functional extensibility. Finally, we summarized its technical and scientific challenges, which can be used as the cutting points to promote the improvement of this technology in future studies. Overall, with the implication of establishing a novel cornerstone-sense ecotechnology, the co-development of an international TLS network can revolutionize the 3D ecological understanding of global trees and create new fields of research from 3D global tree structural ecology to 3D macroecology.
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