California native plants use mycorrhiza, a symbiotic relationship between plant roots and fungi, to tie up ammonium, calcium, iron and phosphorus ions. California native plants form their own nutrient cycle, shutting out weeds and other non-mycorrhizal plants. Mycorrhizal plants have their own nutrient sink from which only they and their plant association can pull energy. Other plants that are not adaptable to the mycorrhizal grid on the site are excluded from the nutrient sink. This is incredibly important to you because it means you can control the planting and have big lush mycorrhizal plants and weak unstable weeds.
The key to this is that most weeds have weak or no mycorrhiza, most natives have mycorrhiza of one kind or another. Knowing which kind of mycorrhiza is supported on your site, and thus what plants your site will support becomes the trick. Almost all the site nutrition can go to your plants, or in a disrupted site you can establish a community that is self supporting with progressively less input.
Nitrification of soils is decreased in the presence of ectomycorrhizas and ericoid mycorrhizas. "As long as the vegetation can regenerate, self-induced nitrogen stress may in fact be of selective advantage in that no other species can cope better with these conditions. Ectomycorrhizas may then be seen as contributing to the creation and maintenance of conditions of which they are the most efficient exploiters. Moreover, periodic disturbance by wildfire or climatic agents occurs in many ecosystems in which ectomycorrhizal plants are important components and serves to reduce surface organic accumulation and expose mineral soil. In this respect it is interesting that the establishment and mycorrhizal infection of the seedlings of some ectomycorrhizal trees is most successful in mineral soil... Taken together these features suggest that a controlled and virtually closed nitrogen cycle may be in operation, dominated to a considerable extent by the ectomycorrhizal fungi. "Only plants capable of forming an association with these fungi can break into the cycle and become established "(Alexander). I quoted that directly because it is so important. The nitrogen stress is imposed on other plants not on ectomycorrhizal plants. Ectomycorrhizal plants support, Azospirillum sp., bacteria that fix nitrogen. VA plants do some similar things with Phosphorus. All mycorrhizal plants seem cause limitations to other plants by limiting iron, calcium, potassium, sulfur, manganese, and moisture.